Dec 122012
 

Back in 2010, in an effort that can only be described in hind-sight as ridiculous, I set out to have a 100% Homemade Christmas.  Every gift I gave that year was either made by my own two hands or purchased directly from an artist who made it themselves.  I adorned my tree in handmade paper decorations and spent many hours in the kitchen creating gifts from the stovetop and oven.

Since then, I’ve dialed it back a little, finding a manageable balance between the homemade and the purchased.  I love putting the time and care into crafting a unique gift for my loved ones, but also know that dedicating all of my free time to making things by hand overfills my plate and keeps me from truly enjoying the holiday spirit in the air. 

This year, I’m doing some knitting [scarves!], some baking [poppy seed crackers!], some kid gift creating [craft kits!], and a little bit of paper craft, too. Here are a few of my favorite DIY tutorials if you are on the look out for fun, DIY gifts to give to your friends and family this year! 

For the foodie or chocolate lover: DIY Handmade Cocoa Mix Jars

cocoa

For the lady who loves a unique accessory: DIY Vintage Style Button Earrings & DIY Fabric Flower Brooch

vintage styled earrings

last minute brooch

For your fitness fanatic friends: DIY Workout Journal

workout journal

For the little ones: DIY Alphabet Blocks

blocks

For the person always on the go: DIY Coffee Koozie

cozy coffee koozie

For decorating the tree: DIY Button Ornaments, DIY Knit Heart with Inspiration Ornament and DIY Cute Cupcake Ornament

button ornaments knit heart ornament

cupcake

What are you crafting up this holiday season?

Deck Your Halls!

 Posted by at 4:30 am  Crafts&DIY
Dec 202010
 


Setting: You humble abode. 
Opening Scene: You are seated at your kitchen table, looking through your calendar. You realize that all the rumors are true.  Christmas is, in fact, this weekend.  You realize that you managed to invite a group of people over for Christmas Eve merriment.  You haven’t a tree. You haven’t a wreath. You haven’t a bow or a musical dancing robotic reindeer any where near.  Your home needs some sprucing and you your bank account needs a miracle.  Have no fear, Procrastinators Handmade Christmas 2010 is here for you, with a dose of creativity from our Canadian friend Nienke (you’ll love her use of the letter U!)  She’s here to save the day with a thrifty Handmade Christmas decorating tutorial.  Crisis averted.

I’m excited to be on Heather’s domain today, and since she is Crafty McCrafterson I figured I would feature one of the holiday crafts that I accidentally discovered this year!

There are so many wonderful words we see floating around during the holidays: "Hope", "Peace", "Love", and "Joy" are just a few of my favourites.  These are all positive words that create a sense of warmth and togetherness, so I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate them into my holiday decorating. Little did I know that I would come across exactly such an idea purely by accident.

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So this is how it went down:  I had bought some Styrofoam balls at the dollar store ($1 for 6 – score!) with plans of turning them into Christmas tree ornaments.  Once I got started on painting them it got a bit messy, what with paint all over my hands and all, so I decided to put them on kebob sticks.  This was wonderful for getting the whole Styrofoam ball painted without getting my hands dirty, but also for letting the balls stand to dry on the sticks.

Fast forward to the next day when I walked into my office to finish up the ornaments and I saw the balls looking all cute on the sticks. Bingo!

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What you need:

  • Styrofoam balls (mine were 2.5" in diameter)
  • kebob sticks
  • little flower pots or vases
  • floral foam
  • some kind of "topping" – I used green branches
  • paint in your selected colour scheme
  • paint brushes

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How to (easy peasy):

  • decide what word you want to spell out (and how many Styrofoam balls and sticks you would need).  Also pick a colour scheme
  • place the balls on the kebob sticks and apply a couple coats of your base colour.  (Tip: plant the sticks into the floral foam while it is drying – that way they stand upright and dry evenly all around)
  • wait patiently for the paint to dry before painting on the letters – I just free-handed it
  • while the balls are drying, cut floral foam to fit into your selected pots or vases
  • cover the floral foam with your topping, like snipping off little bits of greenery and sticking it into the floral foam
  • once the paint has dried, arrange the sticks into the pots to spell out your word (Tip: when I was painting the balls the sticks got paint on them too, so I just transferred the dry balls onto clean sticks before arranging them in the pots)
  • find a fun spot for your joyful little arrangement to hang out

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Of course this craft offers a huge range of possibilities!  You can spell out a bunch of different words, or even use a longer vase or container to spell out "Merry Christmas" on your mantel.  If you are a fan of the traditional red and green Christmas theme you can go with something like this:

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May you have a very JOYful holiday season and may your hearts be filled with the love the season brings!