a very pinterest christmas…

So, like most females my age, I am a Pinterest devotee.  Why spend time trial and error-ing your own crafts when someone’s already found the best way to do them!  Consequently, my quest to make most of my own Christmas/Holiday Decor actually didn’t go so badly.  (I even came up with a few of the ideas on my own!) My goal of 25 homemade items (and to, of course, come up with a catchy title playing on “The 25 Days of Christmas”) didn’t happen, but I think I had a fair go of it!  Decide for yourselves…. (PS: I was hoping to post this a lot sooner- seems a little anti-climactic so far after Christmas- but alas it has been moved further and further down the to do-list each week.  Anyway, here it is… finally.)

1. Chalkboard Decor:  I shared a pic in a previous post of a chalkboard tree I did in November.  Of course, by the time Christmas came around, I was already sick of it.  So I did a new one… copied from a blog I like (http://ohsnapboutique.com/blog/)- right down to the cute kid in PJs and earflaps.  It would have looked better if the tree had actually gone all the way to the floor, but I wanted it to last more than a day, therefore it had to exceed dog height. (Note the fruit snacks I had to use to bribe the kid to participate, wonderful parent that I am…)

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2. Presents!  With all the cute free printable Christmas tags out there, how could I not DIY my holiday wrapping!  Add in some kraft paper wrap (from Target) and some red and white baker’s twine (on sale at Anthropologie) and I was set!  I also made some reusable gift tags by sticking a chalkboard label (purchased on etsy) to some scrapbook paper, cutting it out and punching a hole.  Then I used liquid chalk to write on the back.  (If you are not familiar with liquid chalk, it’s awesome!  The chalk look without the mess.)  I made snowflake stamped gift bags using plain brown paper bags, a snowflake stamp and some white chalk ink (all from Michael’s), and also used a couple of yarn pom-poms left over from my chalkboard tree.  Lastly, for my friend’s kids, I bought Doodles at Dinner color-your-own placemats at Anthropologie (http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/shopgifts-recipient-kids/C20254520.jsp) and taped some crayons to the wrap with gold glitter tape (also from Michael’s).

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(free printable tags: http://blog.heylook.fi/2011/12/freebies-hand-drawn-printable-gift-tags.html, crayon/wrapping idea: http://www.linesacross.com/2012/12/interactive-gift-wrap-for-kids.html)

3. Wreath: I copied this wreath from a link via Pinterest that appears to no longer exist.  There were obviously no directions so I was winging it.  I got a foam wreath from Michael’s and wrapped it tightly in yarn.  I picked a fuzzier yarn so the wreath looked a little fuller.  Then I cut the petals out of a cream colored felt, laid them out as I wanted them and hot glued them on one by one.  Not sure if the was the “right” way, but it worked!  I liked the design because it’s festive, but not too Christmas-y that I can’t leave it up for the winter.

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4. Chalkboard Mugs: (Can you tell I am a little into the chalkboard trend???)  I copied it directly from this blog: http://witandwhistle.com/2011/12/14/diy-chalkboard-mug/.  I found the mug on clearance at Target. (I question all these blogs whose authors say the find great mugs at the dollar store.  I have yet to find a great mug for a dollar!) I bought the chalkboard paint straight from the link on the website.  I have co-worker who had luck with similar projects using chalkboard spray paint, but I tried that on my walls and had really bad luck.  Plus I wanted the dishwasher safe/bake it on/not coming off for anything paint.  It took three coats of paint and it didn’t go on quite as smooth as the instructions would make it seem, but I thought the end result was cute.  Made for a fun (cheap) Christmas gift.

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5. Anthro-Inspired Snow Globes: These were everywhere on Pinterest.  Easy, cheap and they literally took 5 minutes to make!  I also made some cute tags using free printables (naturally) and my favorite bakers twine.  (Note: I found the jars at Target in the jelly/jam section- they also sell jars in the house wares section, but not the cute textured ones.)  Made a few for gifts, and kept a couple for my own mantel.

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(free vintage Christmas printable: http://farfarhill.blogspot.com/2011/10/freebies-vintage-kit_27.html, snow globe tutorial: http://zomoc.com/inspired-snow-globes-tutorial.html#.UBpXdbAuNRJ.pinterest)

6. Reindeer Wreath: Once again, copied this directly from a blog!  Except that instead of using old cardboard boxes, I bought some cardboard scrapbook paper, which was easier because I could cut out the template with scissors instead of an x-acto knife. (I tend towards crafting injuries so the safer, the better.) It didn’t, however, stay upright as easily, so I had to reinforce the neck with some Popsicle sticks, which seemed to work just fine!  He needed a little bling, but I never got around to that.  Maybe next year!

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(wreath tutorial: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/scandinavian-decorations-christmas-tree#slide-3)

7. Button Tree: So this one wasn’t from Pinterest, but copied from a tree my mom picked up at a local craft fair and asked me to make.  I cheated and bought the sweater covered tree base from Target (on clearance, how could I resist?) along with a small candle holder.  Then hot glued on red and green colored buttons and a snowflake charm on top.  The bottom of the tree had a felt base that wasn’t glued down to the tree itself (just sewn to the sweater material), so I actually had to cut a round hole in the felt in order to glue the candle holder to the foam cone to make it a little more stable.  In the end it was pretty easy, although it took almost two hours to glue on the buttons.  Finn even helped with this one (and by helped, I mean he played with all the buttons and then cried when he realized they weren’t coming off the tree).

8. Santa and Reindeer Garland: This one was so super cute, I couldn’t resist when I found it on Pinterest. Drawback- it too forever to cut out the reindeer and my hand felt like it was about to fall off after- but it was super cute- so… worth it? (Reindeer Garland: http://theproperpinwheel.com/2012/11/diy-santa-reindeer-garland/).

9. Christmas Card booklet:  I didn’t actually find this on Pinterest but copied it from a friend who made one last year for her son.  Bought a loose-leaf ring, hole punched all the cards, looped them together and tied on a ribbon.  We get upwards of 30 Christmas cards- and I’m not a fan of taping them all to the fridge- so this made for an easier way to display them.  And now that Christmas is over, it’s a book of his “people” that Finn can play with.

10. Milk Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps:  An easy and yummy holiday twist on the chocolate chip cookie.  This was our go-to Christmas cookie this year.  Recipe from recipegirl.com (http://www.recipegirl.com/2008/08/06/milk-chocolate-gingersnaps/).  I love gingersnaps, but I hate the mess and hassle of having to roll and cut them.  This was the perfect compromise.

11. Glitter Art: So I really wanted to make the glitter reindeer in this blog: http://justdaisydreaming.blogspot.com/.  However, I knew the glitter would be hard to work with (which would frustrate me) and would be messy (which would also frustrate me), so instead of glue and glitter, I used glitter scrapbook paper.  And instead of gluing it to a canvas, I mod podged it to some polka dot scrapbook paper (love me some polka dots).  I also made one using a caribou template (from this blog: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/scandinavian-christmas-decorations-star-caribou-ornaments#slide-8), which I glued (mod podged) to houndstooth patterned paper.  This one got framed (standard IKEA frame) and put on the mantel.  I intended to frame the reindeer one, but never found a good spot for it, so it ended up on the fridge.

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12. Color-Me Tree: Last, but not least, I printed this cute tree out as a New Year’s Eve activity for the little ones.  Alas, they had no interest. (Maybe because it was a Christmas tree after Christmas??)  However, Finn got into it about a week later and has been slowly coloring it in.  Not well mind you, but he gets a kick out of writing on the wall.  Might have to try it again next year when coloring in the lines is something that he understands.

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(free printable tree: http://www.mrprintables.com/christmas-coloring-pages-for-kids.html)

So that was it.  I wish I had done more (I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach when it came to my crafting wish list), but I was nonetheless happy with the results.  Plus it leaves some projects for next year.  What’s the fun in decorating if there’s nothing new to create!  Goodbye Christmas crafting supplies… until next year!

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