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 πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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,Β 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! πŸ™‚

 

Paper Trees- Free DIY

Our local library hosts monthly craft classes, teaching how to make different projects out of discarded books. Since I love books, and also love crafts, I have been really enjoying these! The most recent one was holiday themed, making trees out of paperback books. Unfortunately, I could not attend it, so instead I set out to figure out how to make it myself! Now, I didn’t have discarded books, so instead I used old magazines, which resulted in a colorful, though not as dense, result.

magazine paper tree

Here is the YouTube tutorial I relied on for the detailed steps on how to fold these:

 

Materials:

Old magazines (FREE!)
Glitter + Glue (optional, I left mine plain)

Steps:

For each page of the magazine, you will fold the top corner of the page down towards the magazine’s spine, then fold again, creating a narrow triangle. Fold the bottom point that is hanging down so that it lines up flat with the edge of the magazine.

Warning:

Although this craft is extremely simple and completely free, it is not quick! Depending on the thickness of the magazine / book you choose, this can take a long time! My recommendation is to do this while watching your favorite TV show, or listening to music or a podcast, and taking breaks! The 3 trees I made were done over a few days, a bit at a time.

20151125_222958

I am currently displaying these trees on our entry way console (see how I painted it here.) I was debating if I should leave it as is, or add glitter and decorations, but I think I’m going to leave it as is for now. What do you think? Will you try this free craft for the holiday season? πŸ™‚