Friday, November 29, 2013

DIY Leaf Collage

Well, it's now officially Christmas season according to most people. But I'm still not quite over fall just yet. A few weeks ago, I pressed some leaves that I picked up on a walk, and they're finally done and ready to use!

So I decided to make a little leaf collage with them. It's a pretty self explanatory idea. But you really just need some pressed leaves, a canvas, some scissors, and mod podge. Arrange the leaves on your canvas - some of them might go off the edge a little. Secure them with Mod Podge. Then cut along the edges of your canvas to remove any leaves hanging over. That's all there is to it! And I don't know about where you are, but there are still so many leaves on the ground here. So this is a perfect project to do right now and then just save it to use as fall decor next year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DIY Cardboard Gingerbread Houses

I really love craft projects where I can use old things like cardboard boxes. This isn't just because they're usually cheap and it's good to recycle, but also because I have a bit of a hoarding problem and any project where I can get rid of some junk is a good project. So here are some cardboard gingerbread houses.

What you need:
  • 1 large cardboard box
  • scissors/exacto knife
  • white and red acrylic paint
  • hot glue
  • flameless candles

Start by cutting your cardboard into little house shapes, leaving enough extra cardboard on each side of the house so that you can fold the sides back and make a little triangle. Use an exacto knife to cut out doors and windows. Then use some white and red acrylic paint to decorate the houses. I like the look of textured paint, so I just skipped the paintbrush and used the bottle itself to apply the paint to the cardboard.

Once the paint is dry, fold the sides of the house back and glue them to each other so that the house can stand on its own. Put a flameless candle in the middle so that it glows, and you're done! Now you have a cool light up Christmas decoration instead of an old box. Win/win.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lemon Ginger Hot Toddy

It's really cold and I've been feeling a little under the weather lately. So what does that mean? Time for a hot toddy, obviously.

This is a lemon ginger hot toddy, which is still incredibly easy. Start by brewing a cup of lemon ginger tea. If you only have either lemon or ginger tea, simply use a lemon slice or some ground ginger to add the other flavor. Add a teaspoon of honey, a shot of whiskey, and a cinnamon stick or some ground cinnamon. Done! It makes the cold a little more bearable, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deer to Reindeer DIY

I'm in complete holiday mode over here, so much that I've even started turning some of my non-holiday decorations into holiday ones. Case in point: this deer. Her name is Farrah Fawncett and I got her at a garage sale years ago. She's really cute but her head has fallen off and been glued on a few times. But for the next couple of months she is no longer a plain old deer, but a magic reindeer.

This isn't much of a DIY. But if you want to do it yourself you basically need a brown pipe cleaner, a red pom pom, and a tiny piece of tape. Voila. Deer to reindeer in about 30 seconds.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DIY Felt Letters Garland

This is probably my favorite holiday project I've worked on so far. And I've been doing A LOT of them lately. But it's really cheerful looking and simple and really easily customized.

What you need:
  • felt in a few different colors
  • embroidery thread and needle
  • pom poms

The first step is to cut out all of the letters. To do this, you'll either need some stencils, or you can just cut out squares of the same size so that all your letters are to scale. Once all of your letters are cut out, use your embroidery thread and needle to string them all together. Add some pom poms to each side and that's it! If you want to do the same sequence of words, or any phrase that is multiple words, you can do each one on a different strand and just tie the ends together like this one. Or you could just do one long strand if you prefer.

And of course, you can use this tutorial to make basically any words or phrases you want - it doesn't have to be holiday themed. what would you make yours say?

Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Gift Ideas Roundup

Handmade gifts are a great way to save money and come up with perfect and one-of-a-kind items. I've posted a lot of projects here over the years that could definitely be used as gifts for the various people in your life. Here's a little roundup of them.

Gifts for kids and teens: skeleton sweatshirt // pinwheel headband // embroidered flower shoes // chalkboard necklace // deathly hallows photo display // cardboard bow and arrows // mockingjay necklace // heart shoe clips // minnie mouse headband 

Gifts for friends: braided wire ring // coffee lip exfoliator // crop top // compliment jar // less than three necklace // friendship bracelet headband // birds nest bowl // cat shoes // wine photo lamp

Gifts for moms, aunts, and grandmas: pom pom wall art // soy candles // cardboard shadow box // lace painted candle holders // embroidery hoop photo display // cardigan clips // salt scrub // flower cardigan // photo transfer pouch

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DIY Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

So the other day I posted a few ideas for DIY mini Christmas trees and mentioned that I had a bigger project I was using them for... and here it is!

When I was a kid we used to have those little Advent calendars that had either candy or some kind of activity to go along with each day leading up to Christmas. I decided to make one with these little trees. I just bought some little boxes at the craft store and attached the trees to the top of each one. Then, because there aren't as many kid-less Christmas activities as you might think, I just wrote down some favorite holiday movies to watch and put them in each of the boxes.

Whether we'll actually stick to this or not remains to be seen (we won't). But they look cool so that's half the battle, I'd say.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIY Christmas Trees: 5 Ways

Here's another super easy project to help get your home ready for the holidays. Little Christmas trees are a popular decoration, and there are so many ways to make them - here are five ideas.

Felt Christmas Tree - Take a piece of sturdy felt (preferably one with a little pattern or design so it isn't too boring) and cut out a quarter circle. Make it into a cone shape and glue the two edges together.

Garland Christmas Tree - Use a garland with some wire in it so that it is able to be shaped. Use any kind of a cone shape as a mold and create a spiral up the length of the cone.

Layered Christmas Tree - For this one, you'll need to make a couple of different cone shapes in the same way as the felt tree above using nice scrapbook paper. Then simply layer two or three of them on top of one another.

Feather Christmas Tree - Make a cone shape out of paper or cardboard and then use a hot glue gun to attach layers of feathers around it, starting at the bottom and moving up to the top.

Ribbon Christmas Tree - Start with another cone made out of paper or cardboard, and then attach some ribbon going around the tree from top to bottom.

There are so many ways to make these little trees. I have a bigger project that I'm working on that incorporates all of these. I'll share it tomorrow, so check back and see what it is!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DIY Joy Garland Sign

Okay, this is my first official Christmas craft of 2013. It was super easy and I think it looks pretty awesome so I'd say we're off to a good start here...

What you need:
  • a wire hanger
  • plyers
  • wire cutters
  • a few feet of garland
  • hot glue
  • red ribbon

Shape the wire hanger into the word "Joy" using a pair of plyers. This will likely take some patience and a few tries, but you can use the photo above as a guide. Once you've done that, you can cut off any excess with wire cutters and move on to the garland part. Use a hot glue gun to attach your garland to the wire. Then you'll probably want to trim some of the garland so that you can actually read the word. Let the glue dry, and tie a red bow to the top of the O so that you can hang it up on the wall. That's it!

Have you started any holiday projects yet?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday Preparations

It seems like this time of year people are always split into two groups - the people who are all excited for Christmas and can't wait to decorate/bake/watch Christmas movies/listen to Christmas music nonstop, and those who say it's too early and we all must wait until after Thanksgiving to do these things. I used to be of the second mindset, but in recent years I've decided that I simply have too much holiday spirit to wait so long. So I'm in full on Christmas mode right now. My house is almost completely decorated on the inside and I've been listening to Christmas music for weeks now. And I've even been working on a bunch of holiday themed DIY projects to share on this blog. So this now is your warning that I'll be posting lots of holly and garland and Santa stuff here. If you don't like it then you can come back later. Okay bye.

So which group do you fall into?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bathroom Ideas

Well, it's Friday, and my plans for the day include tearing down wallpaper in my bathroom. So very exciting. But it's pretty bad in there and has to get done. While the space is small and we're really just doing a practical renovation - adding a fan, paint, and some storage, the whole process has me thinking about what kind of bathroom I'd want if I had unlimited space and funds. So here's a little roundup post for your Friday. I know this is just what you've always dreamed of.

bow tie shower curtain // damask rug // tasseled hand towels // handmade soaps // please don't do coke in the bathroom sign // toothbrush holder

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hair Tutorial: Half Twist Thing

Okay, I'm still really bad at doing hair and even worse at naming hairstyles. How do bloggers just name things? I don't get it.

Anyway, I've been trying out new ways to try and tame the mess on my head (left) with minimal work/heat damage. Bangs are really annoying, as are curls that frizz to the point that you can't even tell they're really curls. So if you have similar issues, here's an easy style that requires very little actual styling.


Part your hair where you normally part it, and take a small section from one side of your part (probably your bangs), and begin twisting it. After one rotation, add another small section of hair, and keep going until you make it halfway down your head. Do the same on the other side of the part, using bobby pins to secure if necessary. Then tie both sides together in the back. Take the rest of your hair from under the twists and fold it up over the twisted sections. You can secure it with a ponytail holder first, then pin it above that so you can't see the actual knot.

Done! Congratulations, you're now fit to at least go out in public.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Leaf Pressin'

It's that time of year when people are torn between fall and winter. I'm one of those people who loves getting ready for Christmas early, but I also really love fall and I'm happy the leaves are still out and making everything pretty. Since they won't be around for very much longer, I decided to save some. I got this flower press a few years ago at a garage sale and have still never used it. So when I took my dog for a walk the other day, I picked up a bunch of leaves to try it out on.

I have to let them press for a few weeks before they'll be ready for the project I have planned. But I hope it goes well so I can share the finished product!
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