Monday, December 9, 2013

Mini Christmas Advent Calendar

I know, I know.  December is well under way and I'm bringing you an Advent DIY for my last Christmas project.  Really, this should have been my first, right?  As much as I'd like to say I'm on the ball with getting stuff like this done on time, I'm not.  I could say that I've had this done for a while but took forever to write the post, but I didn't.  I finished just a couple of days ago.  Just a few days into December.  Ah well.

To be honest, I'm not sure how much of a DIY this will be.  The little shelf I used was something of my mom's that she had forever.

I mean, check out this sticker on the back:

When was the last time you saw that logo from Wal-Mart??

Like I said, I'm not sure how many of you would have a shelf like this, but I did a quick search and found a few on ebay, and this board on Pinterest shows a couple of options as well.  I love the typesetter drawers, and those are fairly common in antique venues.

My mom loved cats, was a collector of all things cats, and she kept her miniature cat collection in this knick-knack shelf.  But after moving a couple of times, I guess she figured she wasn't going to display them anymore -- I'm not sure -- but I found the shelf in a closet one day and asked her what she was going to do with it.  She told me nothing, that I could have it, and when I counted 25 spots, I knew it would make a cute Advent calendar.

That was a couple of years ago actually, but life happened and I remembered this year I had that thing and decided to do something with it.

First of all, the sad brown wood would have to go.  It was just not in good shape, and overall was too dark.  But before I painted the thing, I had decided the numbers would be done like I did my design on my corkboard redo -- I'd pull off the stickers to reveal the background color.  {Side note:  anybody know what that process is called??  Apparently I like using it and I'd like to know what to call it, ha ha!}

I wanted my calendar to be fun, so I picked different Christmas-y colors and randomly painted spots in each section.

Then I picked my numbers from several different sticker sets in different fonts.  I also decided to spell out a few of the numbers, just to mix it up.

Once I had each number in place, I painted the entire shelf.  Which took much more paint than I thought it would, and was much more tedious than I expected.

That's why I finished last night.  Instead of before December 1.  That, and painting with an 18-month old running around thinking he needs to be painting, too, can be a little difficult!  O, but I love it.

After I painted the whole thing white, I painted the little decorative brackets at the top gold, and then free-handed a gold star on the top of the roof, where the roof "hip" is.

Once the paint was dry, I began peeling off my stickers.

Here's some advice should you want to try this method:  use plastic stickers.  These would be -- in my experience -- the ones that come on a clear plastic sheet, not on a white sheet where when you peel them off, you see the outline of the letter still on the sheet.  Those are made of paper, and do not peel well when wetted with paint.  Well, their paper layers peel well.  Ugh.

So after carefully and frustratingly peeling layer after layer of my stickers -- and having to touch-up a few places -- my Advent calendar was complete.

I really like how it turned out.  My hubby said it was very Christmas-y.  Well, that works!  :D

When my brother and I were growing up, my mom did an Advent calendar for us, although at the time I didn't know that's what it was.  We just got a little gift everyday for 25 days before Christmas, and it was awesome!

And even though my husband and I don't have kids, I don't see why that means we can't have fun with an Advent calendar, too!  This year I just stuck some candy and then these cute little felt ornaments I found in there.  But I thought it would be fun if he and I take turns -- i.e., he gets odd, I get even -- and find cute little things for each other.  The challenge of finding little, miniature gifts is exciting for me, although I'd be pretty easy.  I mean, a ring or a pair of earrings or a necklace would fit easy in any of those compartments, ha ha!!  He'd be fairly easy, too, with his love of toy police cars.  {BTW, he's reading this idea for the first time just like the rest of you.  Surprise sweetie! ;)  Don't you think that would be a great idea?!}

Just browsing Etsy, I found all kinds of cute, fun things:

Some of those are a bit pricey for an Advent calendar, but I think the hunt will be fun!  Target One Spot would also be a great place to find cute mini gifts.

Well, friends, that's all for my Christmas posts this year.  We got our tree and decorated this weekend, then decorated our house.  We had a crazy strong cold front come through a few days ago, so now, here in South Texas, it is feeling more like winter, which gets me more in a Christmas spirit.  It's just hard to get in the mood when you are running around in shorts and flip-flops!  Know what I'm sayin'??  But its perfect weather for chili, hot chocolate and Christmas movies, all while decorating!  Ya-hoo!

And, in case you're reading this post first, here are my other Christmas projects:
*Tomato Cage Christmas Tree Card Holder*
*Frosted Woodland Snow Globes*
*DIY Fleece Ruffle Wreath*
*Christmas Wreath from a Fan Cover*


Enjoy this post? Then don't miss out on the others! (:

Follow along:

Subscribe by email:    
Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Christmas Wreath from a Fan Cover

At the risk of giving you back-to-back posts on wreaths, I wanted to share my most favorite project from last year.

Which was a total fluke.

After I had decorated my dresser drawer shelves, I realized there was a huge hole in the entire composition:  at the top middle.  It was just screaming for something...something round...something like a wreath.

See what I mean??
But at this point, I wasn't interested in buying more decor, so I scavenged through my existing Christmas decorations to see what I had.


But inspiration is everywhere, and when I saw this fan grate in the garbage pile, I knew it would have a new life as my wreath.

It. is. so. fabulous!!

And was super simple to make!

All I did was weave ribbon I already had through the grating, a burlap ribbon first, then a lace ribbon over that.

For a bit of Christmas color I wove a wired sparkly red ribbon around the edge, then tied it in a bow.

Even though that might have been enough, you could still see the "plate" on the front that bears the company name.  So I quickly created the "JOY" banner using kraft cardstock and those same little paper doilies I used for the frosted snow globe windows.

The holes in the doilies made it easy to weave a twine string through for hanging.

Once I had it hung, I felt like it still needed a little something.  A little bit of green.

So I found a few faux holly leaves in my decoration stash and simply laid them in the bottom of the bowl.

And voila!  The coolest wreath ever!

I love it, and can't wait to hang it up this year!

Whadya think??

I suppose the lesson here is to think outside of the box and to look at things not as what they are, but what they could be.  Because I would never have thought of a fan grate/cover as being an awesome Christmas wreath.  Would you?

Well, just one more Christmas-specific project coming for you guys, then I'm calling it quits.  On the Christmas DIY, that is, for this year.  I am excited to get my decorations up and absorb their beauty this year.  I think the hubby has decided we are going to put up our lights outside this year, which I'm stoked about!  I always loved getting them strung, then turning them on for the first time and seeing the glowing wonder.  Because we live way out in the boonies, we didn't feel like there was a point to putting them up, but I think we've decided we want to do it for ourselves.  If you follow me on Instagram, you just might get a glimpse!  Yay for Christmas!!


Enjoy this post? Then don't miss out on the others! (:

Follow along:

Subscribe by email:    
Delivered by FeedBurner

Linking up here:  Get Your DIY On * That DIY Party * Handmade Holiday * The DIY'ers * Give Me the Goods * Work It Wednesday * Moonlight & Mason Jars * Inspiration Gallery * Inspire Me Please

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Fleece Ruffle Wreath

I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I'm not crafting much this holiday, but I do have a couple of projects to show you guys, this being one of them.

Which came about as a "test run" for another project I have done.

Recently I have had a couple of friends ask me to make them spirit wreaths for their favorite colleges, which is something I had never done before.  So I did my research and found a particular style I liked - felt ruffles - and went to purchase the felt in the school colors.  

Which almost caused these beauties to not be created.  My local fabric stores have a limited color selection of felt, but luckily they did have the colors I needed.  The last time I was purchasing my needed felt, the fabric shop had all their fleeces marked down for holiday projects, and I swear they had every color under the sun in fleece!  As I'm eyeballing those soft fabrics, the hubby says, "Why couldn't you use fleece on your wreaths?"

Well, I dunno.  Why couldn't I?

So I decided to get a yard - since it was so cheap! - so I could do a test wreath to see how the fleece would work versus the felt.

Just because it was a test run doesn't mean it couldn't be useful, right?  So I figured I'd make a cute mini Christmas wreath for our house (if it worked).

When I made the two above wreaths, I had cut my felt into 4x4 squares, but since I was doing a mini wreath, I did 2x2 squares.  

You'll have lots of these little squares, and you'll probably need more.  I didn't cut the entire yard; probably ended up using about 2/3 of the yard.  I did use more felt for the bigger wreaths, probably close to a yard of each color I used {just FYI if you want to tackle a larger one}.

I'm a bit picky; I didn't want the styrofoam in the back showing, even though you wouldn't see it because it's the back.  It would be totally cool to leave it as is.  But, if you're like me, you can add a felt back to the styrofoam easy.  And I would recommend doing this before adding the ruffles.  Makes it easier to trace the wreath form.

I used felt for my backing but you probably use whatever scrap fabric you have, or use the same felt/fleece you are using for the wreath.  Just cut out your donut and glue it on.  I've tried good ol' Elmers and my trusty E6000 for the backing.  I definitely recommend the E6000.  The Elmer's just peels right off.

In doing my research for these ruffle wreaths, I found several different tutorials for attaching the fabric to the wreath form, but this tute was the one I used.  Which, oddly enough, the Elmer's glue is perfect for.  Weird.

But, this is a perfect project for sitting in front of all those Hallmark & Lifetime holiday movies.  Because after like 30 minutes, I had this:

But isn't all that ruffley-goodness beautiful?!

And, after a movie or two, you get this beauty:

And by using the fleece, in the words of Agnes: "It's so fluffy!"  Really a different texture than using the felt, but essentially the same effect.

I really wanted to keep this wreath simple, so I grabbed this cute little pinecone & holly floral pick from Hobby Lobby, and stuck it in the wreath form.  Then I used a little piece of holly printed burlap ribbon to make a hanger.

Then I added a small white bow at the top of the ribbon to bring a bit of the white up.

See that ugly green wire on the bow?  I just covered it with a pearl do-dad you can find with the scrapbooking supplies.

Just a sweet little wreath!  And now I know:  yes, I can use fleece, too!  Yay!  Two birds, one stone!

I don't have any Christmas decor out yet -- I don't decorate until after Thanksgiving -- but I'm trying to get my projects knocked out before that so I'm not crafting while I'm decorating.  I felt like last year I wasn't able to really enjoy my decorations because I was so focused on crafting.  I don't know where I'll hang this little guy yet, but I'm sure my decor will tell me. (:

So, whadya think?

I've got two more projects comin' at ya soon:  my most favorite from last year, and a new addition for this year.  So be sure to follow along! (:

And I hope you guys have a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for you guys for sticking with me these past few years!  It's been fun!  


Enjoy this post? Then don't miss out on the others! (:

Follow along:

Subscribe by email:    
Delivered by FeedBurner

Linking up here:  Work It Wednesday * Handmade Holiday * Moonlight & Mason Jars * Inspire Me Please * Get Your DIY On * That DIY Party * The DIY'ers * Give Me the Goods * Inspiration Gallery * Get Schooled Saturday * Spotlight Saturday
Related Posts with Thumbnails