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Category Archives: Holidays

DIY Ornament Wreath

I know you’ve all seen those ornament wreaths out there.  They are fabulous!  I have been lusting after one for years, but every time I went to buy one I would think to myself “You know, I think I could make this.”  Turns out I was right!

For a total of $22 in supplies I made this lovely wreath:

My dollar store ornament wreath

My dollar store ornament wreath

You read that correctly.  This wreath was made with supplies bought primarily from the $.99 Store!  Pretty great, right?

So here’s what you’ll need:

1 branch/vine wreath (because they are sturdier than styrafoam…also mine came from Michael’s for $6)

Green felt

Glue gun and extra glue

12 cylinders of various sized ornaments from the dollar store

Ribbon with which to hang the wreath

Begin with the wreath.  I believe mine is 18 inches across.

vinewreath

Wrap the wreath in green felt to provide a surface to glue the ornaments to.  I used leftover scraps from my felt Christmas tree project.

This does not have to be pretty, no one will see it!

This does not have to be pretty, no one will see it!

Then begin gluing on the largest bulbs first.

Use the largest bulbs first

Use the largest bulbs first

Connor, as you know, loves to help with the gluing of anything.  He decided to help me glue the bulbs in place.

Connor is very helpful!

Connor is very helpful!

You’ll want to glue these in a ring in the center of the wreath’s flattest part.  This will allow you to add large bulbs as needed on both the outside and the inside.

Connor helped by pouring the remaining bulbs into the center of the wreath.

Connor helped by pouring the remaining bulbs into the center of the wreath.

You can see that I made concentric rings with the large bulbs.  Now just fill in the spaces between the large bulbs with the smaller sized ornaments.  Connor abandoned me at this point, so I had to finish on my own.  For some reason the project went much faster at that point!

Voila!  You are done!  Simply tie a ribbon around the wreath, tucking it under the bulbs and you have yourself a lovely ornament wreath for the bargain price of $22!

Ta DA!

Ta Da!

Happy crafting!

 

Kids Peppermint Candy Wreath

Favorite-Seasonal-Wreaths-Peppermint-Candy

As you know, I love crafting.  I especially love doing easy crafts.  So when I came across a picture of this Peppermint Candy Wreath in a magazine, I thought this would be an easy craft to do with Connor.

Connor loves to arts and craft projects.  Perhaps it’s inherited (his father is an artist by trade after all), or perhaps it’s simply that our home is constantly full of crafts and supplies.  I’m always searching for something that will be simple enough for him to do, as well as engage him during the entire process.

I figured a candy wreath might be engaging enough….

connorcandy

Connor likes the way crafting tastes!

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the project:

styrofoam wreath form 8″ (I used one with a flat back so it would be easier to control during construction)

1-2 bags of peppermint candy (2.99 for a large bag at Target)

glue gun and refill glue sticks

festive ribbon to hang wreath from

It seems obvious to me, but I just want to say this: don’t let your child control the hot glue gun!  You, the adult, should do all the gluing!

Essentially this project just requires you unwrapping all the candy and gluing them in concentric circles.

Very focused

The repetitive task of gluing candies in an orderly line over and over appealed to Connor’s autism.  It was a predictable, easy to complete task that was also aesthetically pleasing.  Additionally, Connor felt very confident in his abilities to help and he even got upset with me when I tried to glue a candy down!

I put the glue on, Connor placed each candy on top.

Round and round we went!

Ring 1 complete!

Once we were finished with our candy rings, Connor decided the wreath need a little something more.  Candy canes!

The artist at work

Connor’s finished project (Mommy tied the bow):

Very festive and very inexpensive

Very festive and very inexpensive

All in all, this project took us about 45 minutes and cost roughly $10 (not including the glue).  Most importantly, though, is that Connor and I enjoyed our crafting time together with the added bonus that Connor is very proud of his handiwork!

Happy holidays and happy crafting!

An Advent Calendar

We had a wonderfully crafty weekend around here!  I made an advent calendar and Connor helped me to make two different wreathes.  That boy loves the hot glue gun!  He won’t touch it while it’s on, knowing first hand that it can burn you (a lesson he learned the hard way), but he will carry it around while it’s unplugged, pretending to glue all kinds of things down.  Let’s hope he never discovers Krazy Glue!

Friday began with the Advent Calendar, due to the fact that Saturday was the 1st of December, and thus the start of Advent.

Here’s what you need:

24 Cotton/Muslin/Burlap bags, about 3×4 or 4×6

Stencil set of numbers 1-9

Red paint

Paint Brush

Scrap paper

Clips

String (and nails to hold string up)

24 gifts and treats to stuff inside the bags

Bag and Stencil

Bag and Stencil

I lay down some newspaper first because I’m particularly clumsy, which  often leads to big messes!

This project is relatively easy.  Once you have your stencils and bags, you simply lay the stencil over the bag and tap the paint into the open area.  Make sure you put some scrap paper inside the bag, as the paint is probable to leak through (and having a bag that is glued together with paint will defeat the purpose of this advent calendar).

Paint lightly in the stencil's open area.

Paint lightly in the stencil’s open area.

Lift the stencil off carefully to avoid smudging, and there you go: one bag down, 23 to go!

 

One down!

One down!

Just rinse and repeat.  It took about 30 minutes to get 1-10 done, but things picked up as my confidence in the project did.

Ten Bags

Ten Bags

As to the last part of the project, the stringing up part, I was torn as to how to accomplish this.  Sure the model I saw used clothespins (something I couldn’t find) and I toyed with the idea of punching holes in the bag and stringing them on to the twine, but I wasn’t sure about either of those prospects.  In the end this is what I did:

That's right, I used binder clips.

That’s right, I used binder clips.

Given my love of all things office supplies, I had plenty of binder clips lying around unused.  And they are seriously so convenient for this project!  (I also had a hunch that Connor would not care two bits about what was used to keep his gifts on the string.)  However, if you’d like to get all fancy, there are plenty of more creative and attractive ways to do this.  Please be my guest.  I’ll be over here with my lazy mama way of doing things.

My first Homemade Advent Calendar

My first Homemade Advent Calendar

Ta da! It’s done.  (and yes, my fireplace is super dated and old school.  also, yes, I use that woodpile area to store Connor’s toys.)

It’s nothing fancy, but I’m happy with it.  There are a million ways to dress this project up.  You could paint/stencil snowflakes and holly on to the bags.  You could tie each one with festive holiday ribbon.  You could even wrap some lights around the string if you wanted!  Do whatever makes you happy.

See Connor run!

See Connor run!

This calendar, just the way it is, made Connor pretty happy on Saturday morning.

 

If you’d like to make this calendar, please follow the directions you see here or visit BonBonMini to see the sample I used.

If you’d like to make an advent calendar using something other than bags, here is a list of fun projects for kids and adults alike!

Twig and Thistle Magnetic Holiday Advent Calendar

The Etsy DIY Advent Calendar (for those who are a bit more dedicated to the craft of…crafting)

Kitschy Take Out Box Advent Calendar (I think this one would be fun for adults or teens)

Envelope Advent Calendar (super modern looking and perfect if you only have about 10 minutes to put something together)

Happy crafting everyone!

 

 

A Full Plate

I literally have so many projects going on right now that I forget what I’m supposed be doing.  It’s as if I suffer from holiday overload, resulting in paralysis.  I was sitting at my computer just staring at picture of Zooey Deschanel from New Girl thinking “I’m supposed to be doing something right now….” and that’s where the thought ended.  Not wondering what I was supposed to be doing, just stating the fact that I was indeed actually engaged in something.

It should have been a no-brainer as I have several screens open on my desktop at the moment as I try to create one cohesive document for Christmas card labels.  There are Excel spreadsheets, last year’s label documents, emails of address changes, and a dozen Facebook messages to compile into one list.

I can see why people go crazy this time of year.

Especially people like me who see a new project and think, “Hey, that’s a good idea! I can totally do that!”

Projects like this:

Felt Christmas Tree

The Empty Bobbin Felt Christmas Tree! Adorable right?

I thought this was a wonderful idea for Connor!  He’s super excited about Christmas and loves decorations.  With this tree, he can decorate and redecorate it as much as he likes.  Yay!

Except I didn’t want to sew and I knew Connor wouldn’t care if I made him ornaments or just simple shapes.  So I went with the absolutely laziest option possible.  I cut it out, cut out some shapes, glued some velcro to the back and stuck the matching velcro to the wall.  Voila! Connor’s felt Christmas tree:

The Lazy Mom’s felt Christmas tree

Maybe when he’s older, like next year or the year after, we can craft some felt ornaments to go on the tree that are a little fancier.

The second project that I have precisely 36 hours to complete so it’s ready in time is the Homemade Advent Calendar

Homemade Rustic Bag Advent Calendar from Bonbonmini

So far I have the bags, I have the paint and stencils and I have the twine.  That’s it though.  Nothing to put inside,  no clothes pins, no bags actually painted.  And yes, today is the 29th of November, meaning the countdown to Christmas starts in less than 48 hours.

And unlike the wonderful woman from http://www.bonbonmini.com I am not going to be including wonderful crafted, handmade toys.  Nope, I’m going to hit the $.99 Store in about an hour and stock up.  Hopefully, Connor will be just as satisfied with bouncy balls from Taiwan as he would be with wool felted finger puppets made personally for him.

I’ll let you know how this fool-proof plan goes.

Lastly, here’s a list of the other projects yet to begin:

Make a stocking for new dog Maggie

Make a new tree skirt

Make Connor’s weighted blanket

Finish painting three canvases for various children

Organize cookie exchange

Design and print labels for Christmas cards

Make ornament wreath for front door.

Cinnamon Candy Wreath

I’m sure there are others.  I’ll make sure to blog on my minimal effort versions of everything, cause really, who has the time?