Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas Ornament Countdown: It’s the Final Countdown

So we have arrived at Christmas! I hope everyone is having at wonderful holiday. For those of you who have been following along with our ornament countdown adventure, you know that Cheri and I have been showcasing our ornament creations this year. We have been alternating days which is about all we had time for with our preparations for Christmas as well. We have gathered them all together here in one post for easy viewing.

First Day: Lucky Stars

Glass ball full of origami lucky stars.
Made by Kristin

Second Day: Scrapbook Paper Balls

Spiral ornaments made from scrapbook paper.
Made by Cheri

Third Day: Beaded Glass Ball

Glass ball covered in beaded mesh.
Made by Kristin

Fourth Day: Cardboard Tube Snowflakes

Snowflakes made from paper tubes.
Made by Cheri

Fifth Day: Sequins and Pins

Stryofoam egg decorated with pins, beads and sequins.
Made by Kristin

Sixth Day: Wire-wrapped Spider

Wire wrapped spider
Made by Kristin

Seventh Day: Teeny Tiny Places

Winter scenes inside tiny toy bubbles.
Made by Cheri

Eighth Day: Buttons, Buttons Everywhere!

Styrofoam ball covered in small white buttons.
Made by Cheri

Ninth Day: Crochet Wreath

Small wreath crocheted of cotton yarn.
Made by Kristin

Tenth Day: Scrapbook Paper Origami Stars

Scrapbook paper 3D origami stars.
Made by Kristin

Eleventh Day: Chinese Fortune

Glass ball full of Chinese fortunes and glitter.
Made by Cheri

Twelfth Day: Wire-wrapped Ice Fairy

Wire-wrapped snow fairy holding a snowflake.
Made by Kristin

Thirteenth Day: Steam Punk Felt Bird

Felt bird with wire-wrapped crown, wings and tail in steam punk fashion.
Made by Cheri

Fourteenth Day: Wire Wrapped Joy

Word "Joy" wire-wrapped inside wire circle.
Made by Cheri

It has been a wonderful craft experience to work in so many mediums. Cheri and I had a great time creating all of these amazing ornaments and look forward to another showcase for next year (which will include all the Crafty Sisters, not just us two).

Happy Holidays from Kristin!

A Gallery of Handmade Christmas Trees

Chenille Pipe Cleaner Tree

Loryn:  I’ve collected handmade Christmas trees for over ten years, ever since Cheri made me one for Christmas. Since then, she’s given me one just about every year, and Kristin has contributed to my collection, too. I’m always amazed at how unique each tree is! The one above is made from chenille pipe cleaners that came from a 1950s chenille tree that was badly damaged. Cheri remade them into my tree and a wreath for Kristin.

Glass Garland Tree

This tall beauty is made from a vintage glass bead garland wrapped on a foam form, then embellished with more vintage glass ornaments.

Felt Tree

This felt tree started my whole collection. Cheri made it from an old army blanket, a brass tube, and a wood scrap. It’s so simple and cute!

Papercraft Tree

A few years ago, Cheri did a bunch of paper sculptures, and she made this little tree out of paper.

Pink Feather Boa Tree

I wore nothing but black throughout my teens and 20s, but when I got into my 30s, I fell for pink in a big way. This crazy feather boa tree is an homage to my love of pink. It’s wrapped around a felt form and decorated with small ornaments pinned into the foam. The white base is an old piece of ironstone of mine that makes a perfect stand for the tree.

Silver Tinsel Tree

This is one of my favorites. Cheri made it the year that we put together a vintage aluminum tree. It had almost a hundred branches in all different sizes, and we drove ourselves crazy assembling it. Her pipecleaner version makes me smile every time I see it.

Kristin's Beaded Tree

Kristin made me this elegant beaded tree. I love how naturalistic the branches look.

Mobile Tree

Here’s Cheri’s Alexander Calder tree. Simple and fun!

Wooden Ornament Picture Tree

I collect wooden ornaments, so Cheri made this great tree to add to my collection. I love how she paired the ornaments with that great paper.

Charlie Brown Tree

Last, but not least is this adorable Charlie Brown tree. She made it from wire, florist’s tape, and a branch from a fake tree. Just a year later, they were all over stores, but none as nice as this one!

I love my Christmas tree collection, and I hope to keep adding to it every year (hint, hint)!

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Wire Wrapped Joy

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Wire "Joy" Christmas tree ornament.

Cheri: While my sis and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby the other day, we were checking out the wire in the jewelry section. Back many years ago when I first started working with wire, I was using baling wire. This is the wire that holds bales of hay together. It was a good thing I was young and my hands were in good shape.

Since then wire comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. The wire I picked up for this ornament was really soft, and my hands really appreciated it. I was able to form the letters very smoothly and if I made an adjustment to the wire, it was easy to get the kinks out.

This ornament is really quite simple. I shaped the word “Joy” and then I made a big circle with a hanger at the top and placed the word in it. I then took small pieces of wire and held the word in place by wrapping it at various points. I think it turned out very nice and should really add a lot to the ornament tree that we are all working on.

Merry Christmas from Crafty Sister Cheri.

Upcycled Felt Star Ornaments with Blanket Stitch Tutorial

Loryn:  I love working with wool felt, and one of the best ways to get it inexpensively is to felt wool sweaters from the thrift store. After I made the Felted Wool Stockings, I had lots of small pieces of felt left. Cheri and Kristin’s Ornament Countdown inspired some wool felt ornaments.

I cut three simple star shapes from card stock and used them as a template. Click here for a PDF Star Ornament Template  that you can download.

For your first step, layout your template. If you have a patterned fabric, play around with the direction of the pattern to find one that you like best before pinning.

Cut two of each piece, and you’re ready to start stitching. I used No. 6 pearl cotton thread in a yellow gold color. Sew with a single strand, and use a much longer piece of thread than you think you will need.

For your first stitch, start on the wrong side of your top star and bring the needle and thread through to the right side. Wrap the thread around the edge, bring the needle through in the same spot, and draw the loop snug.

All of the stitches will be started from the front side of the stars. Try to space them evenly, but don’t worry about being perfect.

To make the blanket stitch, insert your needle, bring the thread around the needle, then pull it taut.

Essentially, you’re making a knot on the edge of the fabric. Pull it snug, and repeat the stitches until you get to the point of the star.

To sew the points, make three stitches by bringing the needle up at the same spot each time, one stitch on the right side, one at the point, and one on the left side. Keep stitching until you’ve finished four of the five points.

It’s easier to stuff the finished points and main body while one point is unsewn. I used plain old polyfill, leaving the fill really loose. Small leftover felt scraps also make good stuffing material.

Stitch the remaining point, leaving a small opening to stuff the final point. Once it’s stuffed, finish sewing the seam and make a knot with your needle. Don’t cut the thread yet, though. Run the needle through the inside of one of the arms, and bring it out at the point where you want to put the hanging loop. Make a knot, measure out a hanging loop, then make two more knots to finish the hanging loop. Hide your thread, and you’re done!

This process would work great for all kinds of shapes, like trees, bells, or circles, and they look great hanging on matching stockings!

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Steam Punk Felt Bird

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Steam punk felt bird Christmas ornament.

Cheri: This little bird is all decked out in his Christmas Regalia. He is just not satisfied with being just a bird, he felt the need to dress for the occasion. And when I say dress for the occasion, he really did. He has a lovely crown, quite nice decoration on his tail feathers and he is wearing some very nice wing bracelets.

The body of this little bird is felt that has been sewn together and stuffed. I then took several pieces of different colored wire and used it in place of feathers. He is a little bit of a steam punk bird with all his attire. I hope you like him as much as I do.

Christmas Ornament Countdown
Felt bird.

Merry Christmas from Crafty Sister Cheri.

Christmas Ornament Countdown
All dressed up in steam punk.