Saturday, October 25, 2014

Two Months (61 Days)

Christmas is 2 months away!  I can't believe how quickly time flies by.

I don't sit still very well, so I have to have some sort of quick, crafty project nearby at all times to help me be still for a while.  Crocheting snowflake ornaments to give as Christmas presents is a perfect solution because they're quick, small and portable projects that I can work on just about anywhere (even the car line at school).

I look through a variety of crochet books for ideas, but I mainly use motif patterns and resize them for snowflake patterns.  I use a smaller hook and crochet thread to give that delicate, lacy look.

When I finish crocheting ornaments, I try to make sure I stiffen them so they will hang properly on the tree.  There are a variety of suggestions and methods, but here's what works for me.

First, I take a large piece of cardboard and cover it with wax paper.  Then I take my ornaments and spread them out and shape and pin them in place.  I take a small paper cup and mix 3 parts glue to one part water.  ** Note:  make sure you use glue, NOT school glue.  You need something that doesn't break down as soon as it's mixed with water.** I use old, cheap paint brushes, usually the plastic brushes in the kits from Wal-Mart work very well, dip them in the paint and brush them on.  I try to allow them to dry for a full day before turning them over and doing the other side.  Then I loop my crochet thread through to make an ornament hanger.

Here's what they look like when on the cardboard.  I haven't added the glue yet, but I will tomorrow.  I will take another picture once the tree is up to show how well they work on the tree.  These make great Christmas presents! Very excited to have a few projects done!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

84 Days

As promised, here's a fun, simple Christmas craft idea that anyone of all ages can make.

My daughter has a lot of earrings.  She has pretty jewelry boxes but she has so many costume style earrings, that they are overflowing.  She and I have been brainstorming on ideas to make something easily accessible, portable, and that can store a lot of earrings.  After much thought, this is what we came up with.

The only supplies needed are a paper towel roll, masking tape, scissors, shelf liner (the gripper kind with little holes in them), ribbon, and acrylic paint.

First, my daughter painted the paper towel roll in lots of fabulous colors.  When painting these, don't use any water on your brush or sponge.  It will weaken the cardboard.  Using acrylic paint with a dry brush approach helps strengthen the cardboard somewhat.

Here's a better view of the dried paper towel roll.

Next, we cut a section of shelf liner the length we desired and the width of the paper towel roll.  We simply used masking tape to attach it to the roll.  Then, we took purple ribbon and taped it over the masking tape to make it look nicer. 

Then it was time to start attaching the earring.  Because the holes are tiny in the shelf paper (you can usually find this at the Dollar Tree if you don't have any), it's easy to attach the earrings and their backs.

When you're finished, just roll up the earring holder, and tie a piece of pretty ribbon around.  Fun, easy earring storage.  This would make a great handmade Christmas gift for any girl.  It doesn't require any special material and it's very simple to make.