Archives for posts with tag: Christmas decorations

swag

If you have had your house decorated since Thanksgiving, I applaud you. In our house, things go up more slowly.

This door decoration was made from some of the bottom branches that were cut off of the tree in order to get it to fit into the tree stand.  It helps that I have a bunch of assorted Christmas-y things that can be wired into whatever I decide to put on the door each year.

I still need to decorate the tree, but I have a few days for that. Right now it is in the the corner with lights. It is pretty this way too.

 

Mints

I had my oven heated up yesterday when making dinner, which seemed like the perfect time to try these ornaments. The photo shows the results of two different methods.

For the bell, a metal cookie cutter was placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and the mints were jammed arranged in it before going into the oven. The circular one was cut from a square of mints that were allowed to melt together without any border holding them in.

When making these, you will come across some challenges. Toward the end, 30 seconds in the oven can make a huge difference between done and “what happened?”.  You can see on the bottom left part of the bell where the pattern started to blur too much as a result of this. A star that must have been in a hot spot in the oven did not fare as well and is mostly a red smudge.

Some will break. When removing the pieces from the cookie cutters, any thin or intricate designs will be more difficult to remove. I have a peppermint tree without a trunk as a result of this.

Some candy may leak out around the bottom of the cookie cutter. Because it is so thin, these candy pieces were easy to break off before removing the rest of the candy from the cutter. These pieces are still tasty.

The scraps and broken ones will not go to waste. Crushed, they will go into some peppermint bark where they will not need to look pretty.

Nativity ornament

Can you tell I have been in a “since these supplies are out, what else can I use?” state of mind the past couple of weeks? Last week it was felt, this week’s supply bin of choice is wood.

Were I to buy the materials for this, I would get a smaller star and clothespins with the truly round heads, but I was going with what I had on hand. A small handsaw cut the legs off of the one clothespin easily, but I did turn on the drill press to make the holes in the star. What’s the point of having the power tools if you don’t use them?

This little project is a nativity ornament, but it could also be cute for a couple with a new baby, swapping out the star for a heart.

Village

My husband is making cutting boards for Christmas gifts this year. This had generated a lot of wood scraps. I thought I’d grab a piece and make up a little village to put on a windowsill.

The original inspiration was here. Mine are not as fancy and are much smaller. The short buildings are maybe 2 inches high.

IMG_1746

Cat added to show scale

I used a miter saw to cut the roofs. The paint was some metallic spray paint left over from past home projects, although I did wipe some acrylic gold over the one silver house to provide a little color contrast. These could also be cute with letters stenciled on them to spell out a Christmas message, but they will stay as is for now.

snowflake clothespin

While snowmen make up the bulk of my Christmas decorations, I also like to use snowflakes. It is rare we have a white Christmas, and this brings a little bit of the “dashing through the snow” vibe into the house. Because there were  two sizes of the spring clothespins in the house, I tried out three different designs.

These could be painted white, but I kept them with the natural look. I added glitter to the small one although it is hard to see in the photo, and like that effect too.  The small size is the more traditional tree-ornament size and the glitter will catch the lights nicely. The large ones will probably end up hanging in some windows.

Because I hate waste, I did a quick search for what to do with the removed springs. I don’t have enough loose beads to do the necklace slider justice, the entire bar section should be covered, but the star ornament worked out nicely. There is enough tension in it to hold the shape pretty firmly even when hanging.

Spring

Yarn chain

This was so quick to stitch up!  Finishing  just a few links each night resulted in a chain long enough to use either on the mantel, or across a window in no time. I’d love to make one for the tree, but that may be a multi-year project. The pattern and inspiration came from The Twisted Yarn. Check out her other cute knit and crochet Christmas projects too.

While I do like the two colors together, it really needs at least three. With two colors, each cream chain faces the same way, as does each red one. When you look straight at it, you see primarily one color. Three or more would allow different colors to show from any angle. I joined each as I went in order to crochet them together, and stitched in the ends once a day with whatever I had finished the day before. That kept it from being set aside and becoming another WiP at the prospect of weaving in all the ends at one time.

One of these days now I need to start actually decorating with all these Christmas-y things.

Yarn strips

Sometimes I see a project that I want to try, click through to the instructions and realize it is a knitted pattern, and I can not knit. The Twisted Yarn provided an excellent round up of Christmas Decorations this week. Even more excellent is that she included instructions for both a knit and crochet version of many of them.

Two of them struck my fancy, and I’ve started making the crocheted paper chain garland. Paper chains bring back memories for me of elementary school and trying to get the chains to stick together using paste. It was always a challenge to keep the chains from popping apart. It was also a challenge transporting them home from school with out getting them crushed. They are not the kind of decoration you can easily store from year to year either for the same reasons.

The yarn version however will be firmly stitched together, and should store nicely. Each link in the chain is quick to make, and is also easy to put down and pick up. It’s the perfect fill-in project for this busy time of year when interruptions and full schedules seem to abound.

Snowman ornament

Since I did two days of felt ornaments, I decided to keep going with it and make one more. This time I raided the button tin for a pair of snowmen (snow people?) on an ornament.

When I was going through my buttons for the wildflower bag, I tried to put most of the white buttons into one tin. They are usually small shirt buttons and there are always so many of them in old collections. I realized today that while they might all technically have once been white, they have aged over the years to various shades of cream, tan, and ivory. It was a challenge to find a large 4-hole button and a small 2-hole button that were similar shades of not-quite-white and even more of a challenge to find 2 of each.

Also, do you see the snowflakes? FRENCH KNOTS. In the past I would have stitched little asterisks in place of the french knots, but this time, I charged ahead with confidence. I’m allowing myself to be mighty pleased with this turn of events.

The pattern and instructions are from  Cutesy Crafts blog.

 

skates

Since the box of felt was out, I thought I’d keep going with the felt ornaments. When I was cleaning out a drawer today that had inadvertently become a junk/catch-all drawer, there were 2 silver paperclips in the bottom of it which reminded me I wanted to make these.

The directions and a printable template for the skate are found here.

My favorite part of these is the trim. I looked through my trim box and found an old card with the trim wrapped around it that had come from someone’s grandmother’s stash. The notation at the bottom said it was originally sold as 3 yards at 4-1/2 cents per yard. I would love to know what garment it was originally purchased to adorn.

 

 

Felt tree

I love the folk-art look of felt ornaments, but I don’t always have the patience to carefully cut out shapes in felt. Because they are most often done with raw edges, I can’t count on bobbles and jagged bits to get hidden in a seam.

This little ornament was able to be done with a rotary cutter, solving my poor-scissor-skill problem. To give you an idea of the scale, the largest green square is 1-1/2″/about 4 cm large, and the whole tree took less than one half a piece of felt.  I used this pattern, but did not have brown felt, or feel like cutting out circles for the base, so I used black squares instead.

Somewhere in my craft room is a small pack of star-shaped buttons. Sadly, it is not in one of my button tins where it belongs.  If When I unearth them, I will add one to the top. I really need to get better at putting things back in their proper place right away.