Monday, December 26, 2011

A Very Merry Holiday

If you couldn't tell already, I love Christmas.  And while I am wiped out from all of the festivities, I am a little sad to have to wait another year for my favorite holiday to roll around again.  The 25 days of DIY has been so much fun that I am happy to have another 365 days to figure out what to do next year.  I saved my favorite DIY post of this project until the last and yep, you guessed's a wreath. :) This one came about on another trip to Beverly's Crafts when I fell in love with these tiny glittery balls. Who me? Fall in love with something sparkly? Shocker.  Instantly I knew I wanted to make a wreath out of them so here you very festive glitter ball wreath (shine some lights on it and it's like my own holiday disco ball).  I hope you all enjoy it and I wish everyone the merriest of holiday seasons and a wonderful new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Keeping warm and cozy...

This is my favorite time of year for cooking - all the mixing and baking makes me very happy.  I love that this is the one time of year when everyone seems to be gifting their baked goods, even if come January I am griping about my expanded waistline and the dozens of Christmas cookies I ate.  So this year I decided to give our friends some tasty cocoa mix to keep them warm and hopefully dip all of those yummy treats in.  I found the recipe here and these darling homemade gifts were a huge hit with our friends and family. And I loved the way they turned out so much that I had to make a big jar for the husband and I to enjoy Christmas morning. :)

Homemade Holiday

I apologize. I am one hour and 42 minutes late with this post.  It's been a busy couple of days- our studio had it's biggest job of the year last night, my Mom arrived in town early this morning and we hosted a dinner for nine people tonight.  So it's 1:42 a.m. right now I am finally sitting down to do yesterday's post. Today's is a good one though and I think it warrants forgiveness for my tardiness.  :)

So, given current my DIY obsession, this year had to be deemed a "homemade holiday" when it came to gift giving.  I have two projects that fall into this category (the second will be posted in a few hours :) and this first one made for perfect holiday gifts for my girlfriends.  I found this citrus scrub on Pintrest and it originates from Paula Dean's website. It consist of 3 ingredients — sea salt, lemon zest and almond oil (so easy!).  I packaged them in small mason jars and downloaded the awesome labels here.  They ended up being such a cute gift for my gals and there was even enough scrub left over to make a few jars for myself. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Paper Evergreens

Here's another DIY I found in the Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts book (you can also see the tutorial here).  Once again, Martha must be magic because I could not, for the life of me, get the paper to fold nicely (and of course my trees ended up looking nothing like hers do).  After trying three types of paper (the more folds you do, the less it wants to crease), I finally was able to get the thin green craft paper to cooperate a bit.  In the end, my trees resemble very unmanicured evergreens (I'm thinking more "in the wild" than Christmas tree farm). But either way, I love how wonky they turned out as it's a bit more my style (just wait till you see my gingerbread house - Martha would definitely NOT approve).  :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Glittered Dreidels

A few years ago, my mother-in-law gave us a gorgeous menorah and I love bringing it out with our holiday decor each year.   It's sitting on our mantle right now and this year, I decided to make some festive dreidels to go along side it. I made these a few weeks ago but given that today is the first day of hanukkah, I felt like this was an appropriate day to post this project.  These little guys were so easy to make and they look darling sitting at the base of the menorah. I found the little wooden dreidels at the craft store and just covered them with mod podge and some blue glitter.  At the same time, I also made a glittered star, which was originally made to be a photo shoot prop for a client's holiday card I was working on (see here for how to make it).  I figured I had so much glitter left over from my sparkly ornaments project, why not just spread some more bling around our apartment. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Plates

This is another cute project I stumbled upon at Beverly's here in SF.  It's so simple and uses just a few materials - a glass plate, fabric and some mod podge.  Just brush on the glue and lay down the fabric (cut it into the shape of your plate) and voila! I added one more step and coated the backs of the plates with a sealant so that I could use them again next year and the rick-rack around the edges was just an extra touch to make them look more finished.  I plan on doing this DIY again next year for some everyday pieces (I'm thinking some covered vases or votive candles?).  The plates turned out great and make for perfect serving pieces at a holiday party.

Monday, December 19, 2011

No-Sew Wreath Pillow

Did I mention I am presently terrified of my sewing machine?  So, as you can imagine, when I found this tutorial for a darling wreath pillow, I ran right to my new BFF - the trusty glue gun.  Other than the time it took to cut out all of the leaves, the rest of the project was pretty quick and simple.  I even used the glue gun to adhere the edges of the pillow together.  I want to try and make another one of these next spring but with more neutral year-round colors and thicker fabrics.  Maybe by then I'll have the courage to tackle it with the sewing machine, which is one of my new year's resolutions.  In the meantime, my glue gun and I are getting along pretty well.  :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Felt Coasters

This is a quick and easy DIY for left over scraps of felt and another one I found in the new Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts book (you can also see the full tutorial here).  There were a few things I did a bit differently than the directions in the book.  First, I don't know what kind of whole punch Martha uses but I couldn't get mine to go through the felt no matter how hard I tried.  Eventually I gave up and just made small cuts in the folds of the felt to get the diamond shapes.  Second, I couldn't find the iron-on webbing anywhere so I used a glue gun to adhere my felt (which worked just fine). And third, I glued ribbon around my edges, just to add additional detail.  I made the coasters for a holiday cocktail party we were having but I am so happy with them that I might keep them out year round. :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Gift Wrapping

If I were to list any talents I might have, gift-wrapping would not be amongst them.  My husband can attest to this after watching me make several frustrating attempts the other night, only to end in a mild fit.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to make the boxes look nice and tidy, which is so frustrating for me (if you know me well, you know that I like things in my life to be nice and tidy).   So this year I have decided not to focus so much on how the paper looks, but rather what's on top of that paper.  I found the gift tags and the candy canes in the new Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts book and I loved these felt bows I found here.  All of these were so easy to make and I love the way they look on top of the gift boxes.  I figure, maybe if the decorations on top of the box look cute, maybe no one will notice the crumpled folds and jagged corners. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Felt Christmas Trees

These little trees are so easy to make and are perect for using up scraps of felt. I seem to have so much extra left over from several other holiday projects, so I was happy to use it all up. I first saw the idea for these trees here and all you need to make them (besides the felt) are a few styrofoam cones and some push pins. I used red, green and white felt and then varied the pin colors for different effects.  They look so cute scattered around our place. :)