Saturday, December 22, 2012

Easy Christmas Crafts

It's Christmastime and this is the first "real" Christmas in our house.  Last year we moved in on December 10th and managed to keep our tree decorated and in tact during the move.  That was the only Christmasy thing we had up since we were still living in boxes.

I have collected just a few items during after Christmas sales and from thrift stores here and there.  Pretty much anything cheap that I liked, I bought.  I never felt inspired in our rental house, but this year I broke out my crafting supplies!

I started with "modernizing" a nutcracker.  No offense to anyone who loves or collects nutcrackers, but I don't really care for them and find them a little creepy.  But I have friends and family who love them, so to each their own!

My inspiration for this project was at West Elm last Christmas.  They had these solid white nutcrackers without all the hair and thrills.  

I don't have a before picture because once I decided to take the plunge and redo him, I immediately starting yanking things off of him before snapping a pic.  He came from a thrift store, but kinda look like the one below.

After pulling off the hair, there was a lot of hair fuzz and glue that I just sanded down a little so the texture wouldn't show as much.  While I was at it with a spray can, I also painted a paper mache thrift store deer that was plain brown paper.

Here it is finished, but I realize it looks terrible on that wall color.  I would love to do the same thing to the little red guy, but sprayed solid red.  

The white guy probably needs another coat.  I bet a warmer white would look good, but true white was what I had.  Maybe next year, I'll give it another coat in an antique white.

A free grapevine wreath hangs on my door year round.  Thanks to this Pinterest post, I was inspired to make my grapevine wreath christmassy instead of the usual wreath I hang.  Felt is so inexpensive, so this project is very budget friendly.  Probably cost me less than 50 cents.  You can find the tutorial on how to make the flowers here.  I did not have, and did not feel like buying just 6 red and white buttons. Not worth it to me.  But if you already have them, go right ahead and put the finishing touch on!

The only thing I did differently was I did NOT hot glue the flowers to the wreath.  I want to reuse the wreath for other seasons so I hot glued twisty ties to the flowers then stuck the twisty ties into the wreath to get them to stay.  So it's temporary!

I did take some time to make them all.  Probably 4 hours of cutting, pinching, stitching, and glueing.  A great project to do while you watch a christmas movie.

I swapped out a few prints like this one in the bathroom.  It was a free printable from some website (sorry I don't have the link).  It was originally gray, not red, but I changed it in photoshop.

I'm not real big into Christmas "characters" like Santa and snowmen.  I prefer more natural things like trees, deer, and angels.  I have a gold pinecone covered tree that I got on clearance at Target maybe last year.  So to add to that, I searched on Pinterest for cone tree crafts.  Most involved buying a foam cone from the craft store for around $5.  Then I saw this post on Pinterest on how to make a cone out of a cereal box.

You can look on there for more instruction, but I basically cut the box flaps off and started rolling to determine the size I wanted.  I also found that using a spray nozzle from a bottle of cleaner and misting the cardboard with water really helped it bend without creasing.  Then just hot glue it together.

I bought twine for another project, but used it here too.  The red yarn I already had in my old crochet supplies.  Using dots of hot glue every few inches, I attached the twine and yarn to the cone.  I had to go around twice with the yarn to cover up the cardboard.

Inspired by this Pinterest post, and a pine tree we just cut down in our backyard, I made a garland to hang over our big window.  

It was incredibly simple and quick to do.  Cut the ribbon about 3 or 4 inches long and tie in a granny knot.  Then, hot glue ribbon to the top of the pinecone.  Then glue pinecones about 6 inches apart along the twine.  That's it!

I also made a short one for the bathroom.  I don't have many rooms to decorate, so the bathroom got some attention.  They're pretty much my favorite right now.

I didn't craft anything for this one, but I just had to share the great deal I got at a local thrift store.  This pre-lit, pre-decorated tree was only $5!  Perfect for our bedroom.

And of course, a Christmas post wouldn't be complete without a picture of our tree.  We don't have enough floor space for a full size tree, but having a real tree is important to both of us.  Fortunately, Lowes sells tabletop trees for about $20.  This year, with the suggestion from my mom, we put the tree centered in front of our triple window.  It's sitting on top of our glass top coffee table, which has been pushed over right under the window.

Both our moms have given us an ornament a year for most of our life, plus the ornaments I have bought myself, so we have enough to more than cover a full sized tree.  We can only fit maybe 1/4 of our ornaments so this year we picked out our favorites to put on the tree.  

The skirt is just a burlap runner I made a few years ago.

Of course, this is not all our decorations.  Just the new ones that I crafted on the cheap that I wanted to share. 

We really need to start working on our outdoor decor, and plant some trees that we can actually reach the branches of.  All our trees are over 40 ft tall, and we have no bushes to put lights on either.  Next year, I would love to have a huge lit wreath under our triple window and some lights in the yard.  

I almost missed getting this post up before Christmas!

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