Have a crafty holiday!

With the holidays fast approaching, I wanted to wish all of my readers a very happy and relaxing holiday season! I hope you are all cozy and warm, and enjoying all of the season’s festivities! If you are still looking for some last minute holiday crafts, or if you are starting to feel a bit of cabin fever, maybe some of these past tutorials will fit the bill!

bunting project

Upcycled bunting using cereal boxes do your own lettering to spell out festive words like “NOEL” , “MERRY” , or “JOLLY”, or go all out to spell longer holiday phrases! Or, use sparkly washi tape as your accent, and write “2017” for your New Years’ Eve party!

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Magazine Christmas trees I made these last year, and they did not survive in storage all too well, however they are so easy and did I mention FREE to make, that I may as well make new ones this year! Add glitter or glue on beads or small ornaments for an extra festive holiday look!

3 stockings

Felt stocking gift card holders These tiny stockings are so fuzzy and cute, and such a thoughtful way to customize a simple gift. Tuck in a candy cane for an extra treat! Plus, the lucky recipient can keep their personalized stocking as an ornament for years to come.

diy-ornaments-hearts-pin

DIY string ornaments the name says it all- if you have some cardboard and string, you can make these! These are easy to customize as well, from ribbon bows to jingly bells and googly eyes!

pinecone-tree-after

Pinecone Christmas tree the perfect combo of using natural materials and upcycled found items. Sprinkle some glitter on these cuties for the perfect “snowy tree” look!

garland-staged-cropped

Pompom garland This fun and colourful project is also perfectly kid-safe, and adds such a playful and whimsical look to any space! Use any colors that match your theme for a cute look even after the holidays are gone 🙂

Wishing you all a safe and warm holiday season ❤ see you in 2017!

pin-holiday-crafts

Pinecone Trees- Holiday Decor

I love to upcycle and use unusual materials, especially when it comes to holiday decor! (for an example, check my magazine trees from last year here). Here is another example of DIY holiday decor, using pretty much 90% upcycled materials! Bonus points for the cozy rustic feel 😉

First, you will need pinecones. Ideally, you would be able to collect these from nature if it is dry enough outside. If you get soggy pinecones, lay them out to dry in a warm spot, or pop them in the oven on a very low temperature (this also kills any creepy crawlies that may have tagged along!)

For the base, use a bottle cap! You can decorate it as you please- paint, stickers, gems, whatever you happen to have on hand! Or leave it plain, that works too! Use hot glue to attach the base to the bottom of the pinecone, and check to make sure it is standing up straight.

pinecone-tree-before

For the star at the top, and the ornaments, use beads, pom poms, even rolled up tin foil! You can also cut up a string of mardi-gras beads (you know you have a strand hiding in your junk drawer!) which makes the perfect metallic look ornaments.

pinecone-tree-after

You can stand these up on your mantel or along a window ledge as a little pinecone forest, or attach a loop of ribbon at the top to transform your pinecone tree into a festive ornament! It will look perfectly natural and rustic on your tree, or draped over a bottle of wine as a gift embellishment!

Feel free to make your tree your own- you can paint it, add glitter, or puff paint along the edges for a snowy look!

pinecone-pin

If you are trying this project with kids, a safe process is to encourage them to select the ornaments they like, and point to you where they would like each one placed, and you handle the hot gluing, to protect little fingers!

I hope you try this fun and quick holiday craft, these are great to make especially when it is cold and snowy outside! 🙂

Cupcake Liner Flowers- 2 minute DIY

Cupcake Liners Flowers- bouquet pin 2

Keeping with the theme from last week of making flowers from kitchen pantry items (see my coffee filter flowers here) this week I am making flowers out of cupcake liners!

These are very economical, I got a pack of 80 cupcake liners at the dollar store for $1, and since you only need 3 liners per flower, that’s like… 26 flowers for just $1!!

supplies 1

You will need:
– Cupcake liners
– Scissors
– Hot glue gun
– Skewer or stick

*** QUICK TIP: I cut up a wire hanger into 4 pieces to be used as stems. This makes the flowers bendable to different angles, and is a great upcycling opportunity! ***

3 cupcake liners stacked

Grab 3 cupcake liners, stack them together, and flatten them out.

cupcake liners taco fold

Fold your liners in half like a taco.

cupcake liners quarter fold

Fold your liners in half again, into a quarter circle shape.

cupcake liners petals cut

Cut out your petals. You can keep them rounded, or spiky, or scalloped, or really wide, or really skinny- the possibilities are endless! And each different type of petal shape results in a different looking flower.

cupcake liners petals cut opened

Open up your folded cupcake liners. Take a moment to fix any petals if needed.

cupcake liners on stick

Push your stick through the centre of all cupcake liners. Now you are ready to start gluing!

cupcake liners on stick glued 1

Put hot glue in the centre of the cupcake liner, and bunch it together at the tip of the stick. Your petals may get a bit bunched at first, but that is ok, that is the centre of your flower, so will naturally look more dense.

cupcake liners on stick glued 2

Keep gluing your liners one at a time, making sure the glue comes in contact with both the previous liner and the stick itself.

cupcake liners flower round petals

You can add silk leaves, or green ribbon along the base of the flower. Play around with different petal shapes for a different result!

cupcake liners flower spiky petals

These are fantastic to use in centrepieces for events and weddings. I have experimented and tried coloring it with different methods, but since the liners are water-repellant I have not yet found a method that works! If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

Cupcake Liners Flowers- bouquet pin 3

You can use different colored liners- pastel ones look great! Patterned liners are fun too, but not as realistic looking.

Here’s a full recap of all the steps, feel free to pin it and save it for your next event!

Cupcake Liner Flowers- instructional pin

 

DIY Canvas Monogram- Easy Room Decor

My little sister is all grown up, and will be going away to college next year, I can hardly believe it! It is also her birthday next month, so I wanted to make her a cute little décor piece for her room, something that is small enough that she can take with her to her dorm to give it some personality and color.  I was inspired by different recycled canvas art designs that have a masked quote that shows the colors of the canvas through the letters, but is painted everywhere else, kinda like these:

canvas 3canvas 1

canvas 2

So after getting inspired, I set out to the thrift store to find myself a canvas to repurpose! The ones I found were not too colorful, so I ended up picking out a more neutral one and adding in the color myself for a similar effect. The canvas I found was pretty small, about 8 inches by 8 inches, and was already decoupage-d with pages from a book, which I though gave it a really nice texture as a background. And it was only $3! What a score!

I could not decide on a quote, and since the canvas was pretty small I decided to just go with a monogram instead- simple, and doesn’t change with your mood!

To do the lettering, you have a few options:

1. Letter stickers– This would be super convenient if you are doing a whole sentence or quote, as it keeps all the letters consistent. One thing to keep in mind is to keep an eye for wonky letters and uneven spaces!

2. Tape– you can use painters tape or washi tape to tape off a letter (or any shape, for that matter) and paint around it or within it.

3. Template– you can make your own by drawing out or printing out your letter or shape on paper and cutting it out. Either use that template as a mask, and paint around it or within it, or draw the shape on your canvas and freehand paint it.

I ended up using option 3, and drew out the letter “M” myself (my printer is broken!) and cutting it out. Next came painting- I wanted to have lots of bright colors, but I don’t have a bunch of different paint colors in my craft stash, so I had to improvise! Out came my nail-polish stash!

canvas monogram 1

Using different color nail polish (including glitter and sparkle!) I carefully painted within my template. It did leak a bit around the edges, but most of it would be corrected later on.

To get a more modern look, I painted the background white with some leftover paint primer I had from our previous painting adventures. Since I wanted the texture to still come through, I diluted the primer with water to provide a more see through wash of color.

canvas monogram 2

Painting the background also allowed me to go in and correct any small mistakes where the nail polish leaked around the edges, to get a cleaner look. I ended up with 2 thin coats of the primer-water-wash all over the canvas, including the sides.

canvas monogram 4

This was a very quick project, and the whole thing came together in just 2 afternoons. Total cost= $3 how great is that! So happy I was able to achieve a very similar look to the inspiration pieces, without buying a bunch of supplies, and instead use what I had at home. I hope my sister likes it and displays it proudly an her dorm wall! ❤

Handmade felt stocking ornaments / gift card holders

3 stockings

For holidays, I like to give gift cards. I’m terrible at buying gifts, so this is a good option that takes the pressure off. Since it is a small sized gift, I like to present it in a way that makes it feel more substantial and special, for those who deserve it of course (see my craftworthiness article to learn more).

This is a very affordable project, and you only need basic sewing skills. Here’s what you’ll need:
supplies

Felt: you can get this for $0.30 a sheet at Michaels, and my local dollar store has it for $0.25 a sheet, so a very inexpensive material. I had some felt at home already from a previous project (like my felt succulents), so I wanted to use it up.

Needle + Thread: I like to use embroidery floss to make the stitches stand out. I got a pack of 8 colors for $1 at dollar tree. If you only have regular thread you can double it up on your needle to get thicker stitches.

Ribbon: You don’t need a lot, again you can get cheap ribbon at the dollar store. I always keep ribbon I get with gift wrapping and re-use it.

stocking templateA template: I traced around a gift card on some cardstock, then shaped my stocking around it, leaving a bit of space around the sides for stitching. You also need a little rectangle piece to go at the top of the stocking, you can leave it plain or scalloped.

Decorations: you can use buttons, sequins, appliques, or anything else you can stitch on there! A few other ideas are little jingle bells, or metallic charms.

 

Let’s get started!

1) First, trace the template on a piece of felt, then cut it out. You will need two of the “sock” shape, and two of the rectangle shape.

parts

2) Now is the time to decorate the pieces. You can use basic embroidery, or add anything else you would like to make is special and personalized for the person you are making it for. Also add the ribbon at the corner of the stocking with a few stitches.

stockings halfway

3) Now sew around the sides and bottom of the stocking, connecting the 2 pieces together. Lastly, sew the rectangle parts to the stocking, and to each other around the sides.

finished stocking

Done! Now you can tuck in your gift card, or any other special treats, and you are finished! If you want more of a glitzy look that is not quite this rustic, you can sew or glue on some sequins or beads, or go crazy with glitter glue. I like both looks, so its up to you!

I hope you try this affordable and gift-able holiday craft, and leave a comment for any other projects you would like to see! ❤ Happy Holidays! 🙂

 

Craft-worthiness

Most of the time when I make something, I do so for the sole purpose of meeting a personal need, or satisfying a crafting urge. Maybe I want to try and learn a new technique, or maybe I’m trying to use up some scraps and challenge myself to make something special out of what’s around the house.

Sometimes, I make something with the purpose of giving it to someone else. Sometimes I only realize that after an item is complete, or after I owned it for a little while. When I make something it takes some time and effort, so I want to make sure that the person I give it to can appreciate it and put it to good use.

What makes a person craft-worthy?

Has this ever happened to you- you plan out a project, collect your materials, spend time and effort putting it together, and gift it to someone, only to have them seem unappreciative or dismissive? I will admit, it has happened to me on multiple occasions!

To me, a handmade gift trumps a store-bought one hands down. However, not all people see it that way! I have realized that some people see a handmade gift as a cop-out, a cheaper alternative to actually buying something, or an immature gesture.

It can be easy to feel offended by their perspective, but a much better approach is to weed out those people and only make things for the people who you know will appreciate your effort and cherish the result.

Here’s two personal stories, to help illustrate my point:

Christmas 2014- I was practicing loom knitting and made myself an infinity scarf, and had multiple compliments on it from family and friends (even without telling them I made it). I then decided to knit infinity scarves for all of the women in my family and friends circle. I got a head start and was able to finish all of them just in time for gift giving. My mom loved hers, and wore it proudly throughout the remainder of winter. My SO’s aunt said it is a nice color, then put it aside and never wore it.

IMG_20150711_131908Summer 2015- I made an up-cycled beer bottle vase (featured here) and displayed it prominently on our dining table. Every time my friend would come by she would comment how much she liked it, and when I told her I made it she was visibly impressed. She recently moved to a new place, so I decided to make one for her and give it as a housewarming gift, as I know she will appreciate it and enjoy it in her new home.

What are your craft gifting stories? How do you decide if a person is craft-worthy? Let me know in the comments!  🙂