Mason Jar Snow Globe Tutorial

When I saw these beautiful Mason Jar snow Globes at Anthropologie, I knew they had to be mine…Then I checked their price tag and I knew I had to make them myself.  And how easy are they to make?  On a scale of 1 to 10, they are a 1.  These simple crafts can be made with just a few basic items and take all of 5 minutes.  Here’s the how-to:

You’ll need-
Mason jars with lids
Miniature Christmas Trees (these were bought at Michael’s)
Fake Snow (bought at Pottery Barn)
Glue Gun

Start by gluing your trees to the flat saucer like lid by using just a dollop of hot glue.  Be sure to glue it to the side of the lid that goes inside the jar.  Mine were already white colored, but if yours aren’t you may want to add a coat of white paint first.

Next pour just a bit of snow into your mason jar. 

Close the lid onto the mason jar with the tree pointing downwards.  When you lid is securely shut, flip the jar over, letting the snow fall on your tree.  Tap to get the snow in bare patches.

And that’s it!  Beautiful homemade Anthropologie-Style snow globes that you can make for well under the $35 dollars I would have paid to buy them.  Fabulous and festive!  
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Holiday Yarn Wreath How-To

About 4 years ago, I discovered the joy of crafting with yarn.  And not knitting or crocheting, but rather just “crafting.”  There are so many projects and cool, retro effects you can get with yarn.  Plus it’s inexpensive and comes in more styles and colors than you could ever possibly want.  So there’s lots of potential in yarn.  (Yep, yarn has potential guys.)
My first yarn craft fix was a basic yarn wreath.  I was hooked on how easy and quick the project was, and loved the finished product – Fun, colorful and festive.  I started making a bunch of yarn wreaths and now have one for pretty much every holiday.  Looking back, I do think that some of my color combinations were a bit questionable, and I’m not in love with all my choices of embellishments, but now I think I have things down to a fool-proof system.  Here’s my latest yarn wreath triumph…
The main ingredient in this wreath – simplicity.  I used just one color yarn, a nice fluffy white, and wrapped it to completely cover a foam wreath form.  I secured the beginning and end with a sewing pin on the back.  That usually is enough to hold the yarn, but for extra security, you can add a dab of glue. 
Then, I wrapped some green ric-rack on top of the yarn, spacing it as evenly as possible and wrapping at a 45 degree angle.  Again securing with a sewing pin at the back.  
Finally, I added my poinsettia embellishments.  I think that felt embellishments look the best when dealing with yarn wreaths and keeps the whole project looking rather vintage and kitchy.  Using a stencil, I cut out three poinsettias (each is two pieces, one laid on top of the other) on red felt and a few leaves on green felt.  After arranging the flowers on my wreath, I simply secured the pieces with more sewing pins.  I used ones with pretty green tops, so they work perfectly to secure the flowers and function as the center of each flower.  
I added some green satin ribbon for hanging and presto – all done and ready for hanging!  
I’ll be sharing a couple more Christmasy projects soon, so stay tuned for more yarn potential! 🙂 

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A Very Awesome Advent Calendar

I must admit, Husband and I do usually buy one of those Cadbury Advent Calendars with the paper doors and chocolate shaped like snowmen inside (and we probably will do again this year) because cheesy though they may be, we love them and it’s tradition.  But, thanks to my Aunt Christy, I have another advent calendar in my home that’s much prettier… As such, this one has a special spot in our living room…

The great thing about this advent calendar is that it was completely homemade and uses vintage items like a forgotten earring, old broaches, and homemade bows and tags.  Each day we simply take an item off the calendar and hang it on the adjacent white feather tree and voila!  As Christmas approaches, the little tree will get more and more dazzling with creative ornaments!

The best thing about this advent calendar is that it would be easy to replicate (with a bit of a knick knack collection anyway) and makes a superb gift.  All you need is a stretched canvas, 24 tags, 24 “ornaments” tied up with string, 24 brads and number stamps.  Simply stamp your tags, then measure out the spacing of your tags for each row and attach them to the canvas with the brads.  Then simply add your ornaments and you’re done!

Happy Advent Calendaring! 

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12 Days of Christmas Embroidery Hoops Surprise

A while back I had an idea to make embroidered Christmas ornament hoops that I could display on my wall.  Then that idea morphed into a sort of advent calendar project where I made a hoop for each day of December and behind each hoop there would be a surprise or activity for the day.  But then I realized that there was no way on earth I was going to be able to embroider 25 hoops.  So the idea morphed into more of a 12 Days of Christmas Project…

Behind each hoop is a little note that my husband and I wrote with suggestions of festive activities for that day.  They can be simple, like treating ourselves to eggnog lattes, to more complicated, like going out ice skating.  But whatever the activity may be, I just love that this project serves as a daily reminder for us to slow down and appreciate the holiday season – It’s so easy to caught up with Christmas craziness!  

To make your own hoops, all you need is some Christmas-themed fabric (I used linen hand towels that I purchased from Crate & Barrel) embroidery floss in different colors, 12 embroidery hoops and needle (mine bought from Sublime Stitching) a disappearing ink pen, paper, scissors and a bit of imagination. 

Once you have fabric on all 12 hoops you can either use holiday embroidery patterns or hand draw your own using your disappearing ink pen.  I chose the latter, which resulted in less than perfect designs, but I just love that they all look completely unique and truly handmade!  I drew a few classic holiday items, like mistletoe and a candy cane, but also kept some hoops simple with a single phrase or geometric design to mimic an ugly holiday sweater. 
Once you’ve embroidered all 12 hoops with different designs it’s time to add your 12 daily tasks.  Trace your hoop onto plain paper, cut it out and write your activity on the sheet.  Carefully place the note on the inside of the embroidered hoop.  It should just rest snugly against the hoop frame.  This also hides any unsightly embroidering mistakes! 😉

Then decide on an arrangement.  Start by laying out all your hoops on the floor and move until you find an arrangement you like…I chose to arrange mine in a Christmas tree shape.  I then used pushpins to hang the complete arrangement above our bed.  Now every morning when we wake up, we can uncover a new holiday activity, which is a fabulous way to start the day!

And there you have it!  An easy, festive and unusual holiday DIY that’s sure to help you appreciate this most wonderful time of the year!  

I absolutely love making holiday themed crafts this time of year and here is a simple tutorial on how to make an adorable craft that works as a perfect gift or even a present topper!

First you’ll need to gather some supplies.  Here’s what you need:

-Half a clear ball ornament (you can buy plastic ones at Michaels that open up like an Easter egg)
-Holiday paper
-Miniature Christmas Trees (can be found at most craft stores with the miniature displays)
-Fake Snow
-Wire Clippers
-Holiday Stickers (I used Snowmen and Santa Claus stickers bought at Michaels)
-Glue gun
-Tinsel or other kind of holiday trim

Start by tracing your ornament onto the cardboard and your background paper.  Cut out the circles making two of the paper ones.  Glue or tape 1 of the paper circles on the cardboard.  This will be the front of your snow scene.

Using your wire clippers, trim off the base from your miniature tree.  Then take the scissors and cut off a portion of the tree in back so it can lay flat on your paper circle.  Use hot glue to secure it to the paper.

Go ahead and add any other embellishments to your snow scene.  I included a snowman sticker and a chipboard snowflake.

Now pour a bit of snow into the plastic ornament half.  Line your circular snow scene with hot glue, then very carefully, sandwich the half ornament ball onto the cardboard circle.  Be sure to line it up so that the ornament loop is at the top of your scene and try not to lose any of the snow!

Finally,  cut your tinsel or trim to line the outside of the ornament.  Attach with hot glue then attach your second paper circle to the back of the ornament.  This should completely cover the cardboard and any raw edges of your trim.

Add a loop of bakers twine or ribbon and you’re ready to hang your snow dome ornament on a tree or attach to a gift.  Happy Holiday Crafting everyone! 

Christmas Yarn Trees for 2012

Last year I made a bunch of yarn Christmas trees for my family and friends and posted the simple how-to on this very blog.  You can see the original tutorial here.  
This year, I had the pleasure of helping my mom make some trees of her own.  We brought in a few new materials, like gold ric-rac and round silver push pins, and I think that really brought this simple craft to a new level.  These make such wonderful gifts and the best part is they’re quick to make and are a definite crowd-pleaser!