Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poster Board Cone Christmas Trees


I have wanted to add cone Christmas trees to my holiday decor for awhile now. I always think, maybe this year. Then I talk myself out of it because I don't want to splurge on the cone forms...I know not all of them are even that much...but hey there are some many other things to spend money on...you know like milk, eggs, cheese, toilet paper...

This year I found myself once again really wanting to make some. Especially since, once again I found myself having to revamp our Christmas decorations. If you remember, last year I redid our Christmas decorations for the first time since we got married. Well tweeking was needed again with our new house and our new layout.

Still armed with my use-what-you-have-piling-up-in-my-craft-closet philosophy, I started putting together a game plan on how to make myself some of these beauties.

LIGHTBULB!

Use poster board and role my own forms. Add scraps of what I have in coordinating colors and I have myself some glorious cone Christmas trees.


I thought I would share with you how I did this...and if you promise not to judge, I will even give you the template I made (using no logical math procedure and relying only on my eyeball it skills) for the cones.

So here is what you will need:
poster board
templates-
Template 1
Template 2

Mod Podge
hot glue
fabric, yarn, trimming scraps
tape

First download, print and cut out templates.  With the larger template (#2), you will need to either cut out two and then tape along seam to make a whole template, or you can trace half and flip over and trace the other half at middle seam. Next trace the templates onto a poster board. Make as many as your heart desires.


Cut all your cones out.


I suggest you give them a little temporary roll before you tape them. That will help the cone hold its form. Next using double sided tape, attach the rolled cone together at the tab. Hold secure for a little bit. Be patient while you roll these, sometimes the poster board is temperamental. Breath through it though, it will work.



Make all of your cones.


It will be okay if some of them are a little wonky or wrinkly...you are just going to cover them. See my wonky cone??


Gather all of your glorious scraps.


Get your Mod Podge out. I used the hot glue only for the sequin trimming. I doubted Mod Podge would hold it on.



To start assembling your trees, pick which trimming you want. I started with 1" wide strips of gingham fabric. With a craft brush apply just a little amount of Mod Podge to the base of the cone. Start wrapping. Wrap, then continue to Mod Podge and wrap as you go up the cone.


If your strip runs out and you need to add another one, simply apply some Mod Podge to the point you ended and then continue wrapping and gluing.


Keep going all the way to the top and then wrap and secure the end of the top of your tree. Oh hey by the way, your fingers will get messy.


This same process applies to any trim you might want to use. I did a yarn one, which I will say made me want to poke my eyes out. The wrapping and gluing process was much slower and took WAY more effort.

I got to about here and seriously wanted to give up and eat some chocolate. I had to take a break and do the sequin one.


Eventually I finished wrapping the whole thing, and I was happy I stuck it out. If you do a yarn one, don't stress the Mod Podge will dry and the yarn will not have a white -

Let the cones dry before handling them to much, but once they are dry they are sturdy and ready to set out.


I am pretty sure there are several more cone Christmas trees in this house's future. Happy Christmas tree making!

Linking:
Show and Tell Wednesdays: Blue Cricket Design
Strut Your Stuff Thursdays: Somewhat Simple
Deck the Blogs: Ninth and Bird
Friday Linky Party: Creation Corner
Weekend Wrap Up Party: Tatertots and Jello
Frugalicious Fridays: Finding Fabulous
Friday Flare: Whipperberry
Christmas with My World Made By Hand
Craft-O-Maniac Mondays: Craft-O-Maniac

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Card Download


I came across this incredible free download last week. I about fell out of my chair with excitement. I had been debating what I was going to do for Christmas cards this year. There are so many great card sites out there, but thanks to our lovely new home we are on a pretty tight budget and those sites, while cute, are expensive.

Rebecca from Simple as That is so generous and talented. She made up three new templates this year for Christmas cards. She offers them completely free. All you have to do is download them to your computer, edit them with your pictures, and then order prints. Bam! You are done!

With cards downloaded on the computer, I took my Little Men out for a quick photo shoot. They did so well...you can't tell in these photos that it was FREEZING out...the wind here is killing us. Then I edited my pictures and added them to the free template. I couldn't decide which one, so I did two. All this was done in a day or two.

Lovely, right?



I printed them off at Costco. She recommended printing of a test print first, so I did. They were perfect, so then I ordered all the cards I needed. They are glorious. I am so grateful that I came upon her site. The quality of this download is so professional.

Ya want an extra yippee??

Not only does she have the three cards new for this year, but she also did some last year that are free to download. That means you have at least 6 different options for cards this year. YIPPEE!

Here are two of my other favorites:

So if you haven't ordered your cards yet go on over to Simple as That and download the card of your choice. Then make it your own.

P.S. If you get an actual mailed card from us...then you will have to wait with giddy anticipation as to which card you will get...I know you are excited!


Happy Holidays friends!

HEY EVERYONE...here is an added little blurb...
Just found another set of free download Christmas Cards from
Becky Higgins Scrapbook extraordinaire.


Just to add to your options!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Belly Love: 22 Weeks


So last week I had one of those days were I felt less prego chubby and frumpy than normal. They are rare in this house for sure. So I decided to call up my friend and ask her to come over and take some photos. She was super sweet and packed up her kiddos and headed over.

Besides my senior photos...which were taken, uh...a while ago...ehem...I haven't done pictures of just myself. I felt a little awkward, but I am happy I did this.

This was a sweet way to document this stage of this pregnancy. So here is some belly love for you.




She even took some head shots for me to use on the blog...in all my years of blogging I had yet to take one. Now I have a couple. Yay!


Thanks Tifani!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Tree


I have seen many of these around the blogosphere and pinterest. I figured that this could be another Thanksgiving craft that I could pull together with what I already had on hand.

All I needed was:

some sticks
brown spray paint
glass container
white beans
brown lunch bags
embroidery floss
thread

First, I raided our yard for some sticks/branches.


Then I spray painted them (I know you are starting to ask yourselves, "what doesn't she spray-paint...the answer not much). This took a couple of coats. I know it is ironic that I painted branches brown, but I wanted them darker than their natural color.


Next I found some brown lunch sacks. I cut them up so that I could have "paper" to trace and cut leaves out of.


I googled leaf templates. Found two leaves that I liked and I printed them off and then cut them out. I traced them onto the sheets of brown lunch sacks. I could fit 2 per sheet.


Before I cut them out, I stitched round my tracing lines with brown thread and my sewing machine. I then erased the pencil tracing marks. Then I cut out the leaves and punched a hole in the top.

I threaded the hole with a piece of embroidery floss, then tied it to make a loop.


Then I wrote down things our family was thankful for.


After all our leaves were done, we hung them on the branches that I had placed in a glass container filled with white lima beans.


Now we have a perfect little thankful tree to add to our house's Thanksgiving feel.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Food Contributor: Gingersnaps with Dark Chocolate Chips


I am over at Somewhat Simple today sharing this cookie recipe. I know Thanksgiving is in 2 days and I could have shared a Thanksgiving recipe, but Christmas cookies were calling to me instead.

This time of year we start thinking about cookies for Santa, cookies for co-workers, cookies for neighbors, cookies for parties/cookie exchanges...and okay...cookies for ourselves. Yum.

SO head on over for some cookie ideas for this holiday yum-tastic season.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Framed Turkey Hand Prints: Tutorial


Here is another fun, simple Thanksgiving craft that you can do with your kiddos and very little materials. My Little Men LOVE tracing their hands and making turkeys. I had yet to let them paint their hand print, so I decided this year it was about time.

I wanted to be able to display them with the rest of my Thanksgiving decor, so I came up with this simple plan to use frames I already had to display them in a prettier way.


All you need is:

old frames
old mats (or mats cut out of cereal boxes)
spray paint, color your choice for the frames
fabric for the mats
brown grocery bags
brown paint
black craft pen/marker
letter stickers (mine were cut from my Silhouette)

First, round up the basics.




Then you will want to remove the glass, backing, and mat from your frames. Lightly coat each frame with your spray paint. Leave alone for about 10 minutes. Then come back and apply a heavier coat. Continue until frames are covered to the desire amount. Sorry no picture...oops.

While frames are drying, cut the brown paper bags to the size of the frame. Grab some craft paint and one of the little hands floating around your house. Slather said little hand with paint.


Press hand, firmly onto the center of the brown paper bag. Let it dry. It doesn't take long.


Make your letter stickers. All three of my frames said "gobble". You could do any Thanksgiving word. Place under the hand print, leaving enough room for little legs to be drawn on.


Draw on legs, beak, eyes, and a wing with your craft pen.


With the actual art work done, you can work on the mat. Lay existing mat over fabric, and cut the fabric to fit with enough excess to wrap the fabric around the frame. Secure with hot glue or heavy duty craft glue. Don't have so much excess fabric that the mats won't fit in the frame.



Once the frames are dry, assemble the frame with the turkey art work.


I did three frames. One for each little hand print in our house. Once your frames are done, display in all it's Thanksgiving goodness.


Thanks for stopping by guys!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Pennant Banner: Tutorial


This year I went with a brand new Thanksgiving deco plan. First it involved a brand new color scheme...brown, white and turquoise. Love it.

Everything but the little turkeys on the mantel was pulled together or made out of stuff I already had. I am really trying to not spend extra money on my projects.

I was thrilled when I found all the makings for a new "thanks" pennant banner. This banner comes together SUPER easy and it can be personalized to fit any holiday and any color scheme. Wouldn't this be super cute with red, white, and turquoise with the word MERRY? You might see that later, just sayin'.

So here is the tutorial if you want to bust it out this year or if you want to put it on your next years to-do list.
Have fun!

You will need:
white fabric
color or print fabric of your choice
fabric paint color in your choice (I use Tulip brand)
1 roll of twill tape
freezer paper

First you will want to cut our your pennant flags. I did 6 white (one for each letter) measuring 6" across the top and 7" tall. Then I cut the brown fabric into two different sized triangles. The larger ones were 4" across the top and 5" tall and the smaller ones were 3" across the top and 4" tall. If this doesn't make sense, I did a tutorial on making a pennant flag banner for Oldest's birthday a couple years ago and I showed how to cut the triangle pennants and you can go check it out HERE.

I ended up cutting out 6 white triangles, 18 larger brown triangles, and 20 smaller ones. NOW, I didn't use all of them...but I wasn't sure how many I needed...our new mantle is long.


After you cut out all the triangles, next you will want to pick your font for the letters. Print them off to fit each individual flag. Then trace the letter onto freezer paper. Using an exacto knife, cut out the letters creating a stencil.

Iron each freezer paper letter stencil onto 1 flag.


Make sure you lay out the flags on cardboard, not directly on your table.


Using a craft brush, lightly apply one layer of paint on each stencil. Then shortly after, apply another coat or two. Let dry for 30 minutes then peel off the freezer paper. The paint will still be a little wet. Let the flags dry for another 4 hours.



Once the paint is dry, you can assemble the banner.

First measure how long you want the banner to be. Add 2-3". Measure and cut that length from the twill tape. Sew a loop on either end. When assembling the flags, I started on the right side because I wanted my word to be off centered on that side. My pattern was 2 small brown triangles, 1 large triangle, the six letters triangles, 1 large, then I continued the 2 small, 1 large until I reached the other end of the banner. I pinned each flag in place as I went.


Then I simply attached the flags by sewing a zig zag stitch.


Now you have a simple and pretty "thanks" banner to hang where ever you have your Thanksgiving decorations.


I have two more Thanksgiving projects to share with you next week, plus a little Ode to spray paint and how it can make anything glorious...reference back to the little turkeys...

Thanks for stopping by friends!
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