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!  


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Friday, November 22, 2013

Frosted Woodland Snow Globes

Well, obviously this idea came from Pinterest.  I'm sure you've seen all sorts of variations and mine is no different.  Well, no, it is different...wait did that make sense at all?  

I loved the idea of the water-less mason jar snow globes, but decided to give it my own twist by frosting the glass and creating little windows for viewing the scene inside.

Here's what I used to create my globes with.  Depending on your chosen "scene," your materials may be different.

My intent was to use good ol' mason jars, but I found these bulbousy jars that I liked a little better -- it was like a jar and a globe got married and had a baby.

I did mock-ups of each globe -- woodland animals with different trees -- to make sure they would fit in the jar.

I used the sparkly white felt as a base for the scene to sit on, but it probably wasn't necessary.  The inside of the lids were white, and with the snow, you really didn't notice it.  But, hey, never hurts to do a little extra, yeah?

So, you glue down the felt piece to the lid, then you glue your animals and trees to the felt.  Simple.

Aren't they cute just like this?

I tried to create some sense of scale when I paired the animals with the trees:  the big tree with the rabbit and baby deer, and the less mature trees with the fox.  My practical side gives me a need to make things more realistic I guess.  Or maybe it's that proportion thing that was drilled into my head in design school.

I also took those little red seed beads and added berries to my trees.  I mean, come on, red & green?  A Christmas must!

So, here's how I did the frosted window.  I wanted it to feel like you were taking a peek into a snowy scene in the forest, so I knew I wanted to frost the globes, but had to figure out the "window" part.

I found some small paper doilies for my "windows" -- which I thought would be perfect because they would give a little lacey edge to my windows.  But they were a little too large, so I cut off some of the lace around the edge -- I just followed the pattern and let that tell me where to cut.

Because the jars bulged out a bit, I wouldn't be able to just lay the doily flat, so I cut a slit from the edge to the center {radius}, then overlapped the new edges to make a smaller circle.  This created a slight cone-like shape, which helped conform better to the bulbous shape of the jar.

After I taped all my "windows" in place {two on each jar to see from the other side as well}, I spray painted the jars with frosted glass paint.

Now comes the snow filling.  I can't honestly tell you what I used.  Except that I know it was some kind of salt.  I had inherited this glass container my mom had used to store her Splenda in, and it still had its contents.  Only, it wasn't filled with Splenda the last time it was refilled.  I know this because after adding a couple spoonfuls to my oatmeal one day, I quickly spit it out.  By far the nastiest, saltiest oatmeal ever!  So I know I used salt for my filling, but I don't cook enough to tell you what kind it was.  Just that it was super light and fluffy and would be perfect for snow {since I wasn't cooking with it}.

So for filling I used a few spoonfuls of this light & fluffy salt, mixed with some silver and opalescent glitter.

Making sure the figures were completely stuck, I screwed the lids on the jars, and did the magic flip.

Obviously, there's no "snow" floating down like in your traditional snow globes, but seeing the snow settle on the trees and creatures like it really would is beautiful in its own right.  Just magical.

Aren't they sweet?

I just loved these additions to our decor.  The only thing missing was an owl.  I'm on a mission for one this year!


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tomato Cage Christmas Tree Card Holder

I've been blogging now for nearly 4 years, and I still feel like an amateur at times.  I didn't start this blog in the hopes of being big like Martha, but I did want it to look nice and be a good read for those that read it.  But as I have grown as a blogger, I cringe looking back at some of my early posts, and even some from only a year ago.  Amazing how I've grown in just that time period.

In looking back, I realize I did a great disservice to my readers last Christmas.  I was a crafting maniac last year for Christmas, really to the point that I burned myself out I think.  There were just so many awesome things I had to make for my decor!  You know what I mean??  Thank you, Pinterest!!

But because I did so many crafts, I didn't want to post a bazillion posts about each one, so I wrote 3.  And each post contained like 3 or 4 different projects.  Talk about an overload for whoever dared to read it!!  What on earth was I thinking??  Sorry, guys!

Not to toot my own horn (to quote the Gevalia guy), but I think I had some really cute stuff.  I'm not really doing any Christmas crafts this year -- I only have a couple in mind -- so I thought I would reintroduce some of the "better" projects from last year, each in their own post, their own spotlight.

First one up:  my Tomato-Cage Christmas Tree Christmas Card Holder

I love Christmas cards.  I love designing them, I love receiving them, and I love displaying them.  They are like miniature pieces of art.  I always wanted a card holder, and had always in the past just hung them on ribbon, which works well, but I wanted something different.

My inspiration came randomly one day when we were working outside and I spied some unused tomato cages that had been stored away.  They had been stacked upside down, and gave the slightest impression of cones...or Christmas trees!

I grabbed one and saw I needed to shape it a bit -- make it more Christmas-tree-y -- so I cut the rings then re-secured them a bit smaller with heavy gauge wire to make it a little more tapered -- a little more cone shaped.  The cutting part takes a bit of muscle, so I had the hubs help me out with his wire cutters.

Then I made my pointed top by also securing it with wire.

It was a used cage, so it was a little dingy and rusty.  I wiped it down, then spray painted it silver.

While the paint was still wet, I dabbed it with a paper towel to distress it just a little.

You can't really tell in pictures, but after the silver was dry, I went over the cage with green glitter paint to give it just a hint of green.  I didn't paint the cage green because I wasn't looking for the literal tree look, but I thought a touch of green would be nice.

It also makes it sparkle a little more.  Pretty pretty.

And, because a tree needs ornaments, I found these cute red sparkly bows and added them to my tree at the intersections.

And for the tree topper, a big red bow and a sparkly star!

The bows and topper also help to hide the wire used to re-secure the rings and legs.  I love decor with a dual purpose!

Then, I just used baby clothespins to attach my cards, and voila!

How cute is that?!

What do you think?  How do you display your holiday cards?  Do you have a hard time throwing them out like me??

I'll have another fun Christmas project soon!  So, stay tuned!


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