Tag Archives: advent

Three green foam tree ornaments.

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 3 Foam Tree Ornament

I made it to day 3 of the Christmas countdown! This feels a bit monumental, as we have been absent from craft blogging for so long.

Today, I made little tree ornaments out of foam sheets (Foamies) in various shades of green.

First my materials:

Photo of materials used.
The materials I used to make my foam tree ornament.
  • Small plastic snowflakes
  • Head pins with eyes
  • Jump rings
  • Tiny jingle bells
  • 4 sheets of green Foamie sheets
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Pointed yarn darning needle
  • Circle cutter (Thank you Martha Stewert)
  • Superglue (not pictured)

I used my circle cutter to cut out 24 circles of various sizes of green foam from 1″ to 2″ in diameter. I then poked a hole in the center of the plastic snowflakes and the green circles with the darning needle. Using the head pins, I slid on one snowflake, one circle, and another snowflake, twisted a loop and cut the wire. I ended up making 24 of these and then using the jump rings, I strung them together for a total of eight green circles on each ornament. I attached a single jingle bell to the last foam circle with a jump ring to add a little fun and noise.

Lastly, I cut three more circles at 1 1/2″ diameter and cut them in half. I glued these into cones with superglue and then slid another snowflake on a headpin, then poked the headpin through the bottom of the cone, made a loop at the top of the cone and attached an ornament hook. I used another jump ring to attach the cone to the rest of the tree ornament and Voila! I was finished.

Green foam tree ornament.
Pretty green tree ornament.

I am very happy with how these turned out. My one recommendation is to use a circle cutter as cutting these out by hand makes them look very lopsided and wrong. The circle cutter makes them perfect and even.

Three green foam tree ornaments.
Just as easy to make three as it is to make one!

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

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Gold spiky star on our tree!

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 1 Tree Star

Hello! Kristin here. We are all still around. We had taken a break to work on lots of other projects (houses mostly) and we are back for the holiday advent!

Lynne and I put up our Christmas tree on Sunday and found that it needed a new tree topper. Our previous tree topper was part of our 2011 Christmas event Paper Star Christmas Tree Topper.

We did this project together and we had a great time. Our materials list:

  • Styrofoam ball
  • Heavy wire
  • 10″ Bamboo skewers – package of 100
  • Spray Glue
  • Spray Paint
  • Heavy bamboo skewer – 1
  • Wire cutters
  • Glitter
  • Green florist tape
  • Wire
  • Tacky glue

Styrofoam ball with wire stuck threw it.

I took the old topper apart and we reused the spiral wire from it and stuck it through the Styrofoam ball. At this point, I was using a lint roller to hold the topper to see what it looked like. This changed very quickly to something else that would actually hold the star up straight while we worked on it.

Styrofoam ball with lots and lots of bamboo skewers stuck through it.
Spiky Styrofoam ball!

We switched to one of Lynne’s weights (painted milk bottle filled with bb’s) to hold the star. A recommendation that we have after having finished the star, once you stick the bamboo skewer in the ball, pull it back out and dab the end in glue (Alene’s Tacky Glue) to hold the skewers in place. Otherwise, you will be picking up and replacing skewers every time you move the star.

We cut around 20-30 skewers in half and the rest in thirds with the wire cutters. When cutting the skewers, slant the wire cutters to make an angle for ease of stabbing into the Styrofoam ball. Also, put the shorter skewers in first and then the longer ones to avoid stabbing your hand or the need for a leather glove. (Always good to learn from someone else’s experience).

Painting the ball and skewers with Copic markers,
Starting the spray paint.

We then started spray painting the star with Lynne’s awesome Copic markers and air compressor to make them work as spray paint. This was long and did not need to be done, and didn’t cover the star nearly as well as we had hoped. We decided that this did not work and bought a $3 bottle of spray paint and sprayed it gold. Worked so much better! Then you spray the star with the spray glue and dust with glitter.

Star spray painted gold and re-glittered.
Spray painted gold!

The ball has been spray painted gold and covered with glitter. Lynne then covered the bottom part of the heavy skewer with green florist tape (matched the tree) to hide the length that goes into the tree and is wired down.

Gold spiky star on our tree!
Gold spiky star on our tree!

The topper is now on top of the tree. Lynne and Loryn did this part as I had already driven home after the Thanksgiving break. It is wired to the top of the tree to keep it straight.

Photo of full tree and topper.
Our beautiful tree with all homemade decorations.

Our beautiful tree is now complete! The ornaments and garlands are all homemade and have been previously posted on The CraftySisters. It looks just wonderful!

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Christmas Ornament Advent Countdown

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Lynne : This is my second ornament for our 2013 countdown. I am in love with trees right now and have been drawing them over and over so it seemed natural to find an ornament that looked like a tree. I was browsing through google images and I found this article from Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden about how to make bottle brush trees. Since I do not have much need for bottle brushes any more I was delighted to find that she uses rope and wire for her trees and shapes them with scissors. And as a bonus I could use my Copic airbrush system to color the trees.

Cathe Holden website:
Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden

Here is the tutorial:
Handmade Colorful Bottle Brush Trees

You will need these things:
Wire
Wire cutters
Rope (sisal, jute, or any twisted fiber)
Drill
Hook (shaped from a wire coat hanger or from a small S-hook)
Vise (or something that will hold the wires securely when twisting them with the drill)
Pliers
Copic airbrush (optional)

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I already had some jute, but when I untwisted the fibers I thought they were too fuzzy and too fragile. I made a trip to the hardware store and found some thick rope that is used on farms. (I remember swinging on the hay ropes as a child. When my grandparents weren’t looking of course.) I cut my rope into lengths of 3 to 4 inches and then began to untwist the fibers. When I had an amount that looked like it would make a full Christmas tree I laid the fiber between the wires as described in the tutorial. It is so nice that you can make two at once by cutting on the diagonal.

I didn’t have a wire coat hanger to make into a hook for the drill because I don’t like the sound they make rattling in the closet. So I took an S-hook and straightened one end so that it would fit into the drill. You can see it in the drill in the photo. I put the wire ends in my vise and inserted the hook in the top of the wire and the wire began to spiral just like it was supposed to. I noticed that the fiber also tangles and you do need to spend some time straightening and combing the fibers to approximate the shape of your tree. Then I used small scissors to cut the final shape. It’s best to do this over something you can throw away because the fibers are very small and sticklish.

When I had the shape I wanted I looked for something to hold them while I spray painted them and found an empty Kleenex box. The wires poked in easily and the setup worked, but I think I’d rather have had a piece of styrofoam. I’m sure we’ll have some after unwrapping presents and I intend to save a piece for a painting stand.

To color the trees I used mostly blues and yellows and finished with a dark green. I start with the lightest yellow and spray the whole tree. Then I concentrate yellow on the ends of the branches using what yellows look good on the fibers. I then use blues from the lightest to the darkest making sure that the lightest yellows remain as free as possible of the blues. The yellows and blues make a lovely variety of shades of green as they are sprayed one on top of the other. I use a dark green to deepen the shadows between the branches to create more depth in the tree. I touch up the yellow and the tree is almost done.

I bent the stem wire with pliers into an X-shape for the bases, but you could use cork or wood or just about anything for a base.

These trees look so good and once you have everything laid out, they work up very quickly. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did.

Side view of wreath

2013 Christmas Advent: Paper Wreath

Happy Holidays!

Hello, and yes we are still alive. We are doing our annual Christmas Advent. This year we are covering Christmas Decorations. I decided to to do a Christmas wreath and have been playing with paper lately and thus my Christmas Paper Wreath was made.

Finished paper wreath

For supplies:

Foam wreath shape, burlap ribbon, scrapbook paper (paper cutter optional), pins, sequins, paper punch (twine and bells optional)

Supplies needed for paper wreath

The paper punch I chose cuts out a 2 1/2″ shape, so I cut my scrapbook paper into 3″ swathes. This I then ran through my paper punch and cut out my florets.

Paper punch

Once I had all my florets, I wrapped the foam wreath with the burlap ribbon. I used pins to hold the burlap in place (I was trying to keep my supplies to a minimum, but you could use hot glue here if you preferred).

Burlap wrapped foam wreath

I attached the hanger and bells at the very end, but realistically, this would have been the best time. It worked just fine adding these at the end of the project, but I could have hidden them better had I tied them around the wreath before adding the florets.

Next, I started attaching the florets. I have to tell you about my error now. I bought large head beading pins for this project and thought they would be large enough that they would hold the florets by themselves. However, once I tried to hold the florets in place with the pins I discovered that I was wrong. I needed something to go between the pinheads and the florets. You could use just about anything, I chose to use silver sequins. I imagine that small beads would also have been lovely.

Once you put the pin through the floret, use your fingers to bend the floret up into a flower cup shape. This is what gives the florets three dimensions.

Attaching florets to wreath

Just keep pinning the florets to the wreath all the way around, being sure to cover the inside and outside of the wreath.  I made sure that none of the florets were flat on the wreath. I would pull up the edges of the nearby florets so that the edges were all up and none were flat.

Here you can see the burlap ribbon under the florets, but once the wreath is complete, you cannot see the burlap from a regular distance away.

Paper Wreath Close Up with Burlap2

I love the way it turned out. It looks great hanging on my front door.

Side view of wreath

Finished paper wreath

Happy crafting!

Kristin

Paper Wreath Close Up CG

Christmas garland made of wrapping paper.

Ornament Advent: Day 23 Christmas Wrap Garland

One of the greatest benefits of having a crafting family are how ideas are bounced, re-imaged, and re-shaped among us. I really love the Star Ornaments that Loryn made and I also just love the Chinese Fortune Garland that Cheri made. I decided to do something similar to Loryn’s stars and follow Cheri and make a garland. I am very happy with how it turned out!

Christmas garland made of wrapping paper.

Supplies:

Christmas wrap

Paper punch (I used 2″ seal punch)

Glue stick or pen

Yarn, string, or ribbon

Christmas garland made of Christmas wrap and shaped into a wreath.

I had some really shiny Christmas wrap and also had this 2″ seal paper punch. I used the paper punch to cut around 120 pieces out of the Christmas wrap. I then pulled out some thick crochet thread that is a sort-of soft gold color and is ribbonish (flat and about 1/8″ thick). I spread glue on two cut-outs and glued the crochet thread between the two pieces. You do have to be sparing with the glue as the Christmas wrap is very thin. I left around 1/4″ of the yarn visible between the cut-outs.

Christmas Wrapping Paper Garland

My garland is around 12′ long and looks great on a tree! I think this whole garland took me around 45 minutes to make. The other nice thing about this garland is that once you fold up the shapes, it takes up so little space and stores very well.

Christmas Garland made of wrapping paper.

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

Kristin

Thread ball draped with glass seed beads sewn into ribbon.

Ornament Advent: Day 15 Beaded Ball

Gonna Go Back in Time!

Thread ball draped with seed beads

So, I was not feeling at all well this weekend and missed my Saturday post for the Ornament Advent. To make up for it, I decided to splurge and make a slightly more difficult ornament. For this ornament, I once again raided my temari ball stash and used one of the green balls for the base. It is around 3″ in diameter. I then wrapped the ribbon around the ball tacking it down first with pins and then with basting stitches.

Thread ball draped with glass seed beads sewn into ribbon.

The beads are from the giant spinner of seed beads that Mom and I bought to take with us when we went camping (yes, we like to craft while camping). I strung the beads and crossed under the ribbon, trying to make a slight draping effect while doing so. It was interesting how much heavier the ball got by the time I was finished. All those glass beads weigh more than you would think.

Green thread ball draped with stands of seed beads.

I then decided that I needed a bead topper and found a lovely smoky gray glass bead in my oddments and leftovers drawer that looks great. I made the hook and I was ready to go.

Green thread ball draped with seed beads.

I am really pleased with how this one turned out.

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Gold ring Christmas ornament

Christmas Ornament Advent: Day 3 Gold Rings

Gold rings2

So, I make jewelry. In my collection of jewelry supplies are all sorts of materials and findings for really old projects that I just cannot get rid of. I guess you could call me a supply hoarder (I don’t feel too bad about this as I think Cheri has a bigger collection). Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that I am a museum for clothes and supplies (I still have some beads from my very first Fire Mountain order around 20 years ago, and crap did I just make myself feel old). Anyway, the gold rings I used in this Christmas ornament have been in a drawer for years. I made a pair of earrings for my M-I-L out of them and of course, I did my usual M.O. and bought way too many supplies and was stuck with a bag full of various sizes of gold jump-rings.

For this project, I laid down some wax paper and pulled out my bottle of bead glue (super glue). I used some tweezers to place the rings where I wanted them and glued the whole piece together. I like the project so much that I think I am going to make a set of earrings with a similar shape for the holiday season. The ornament is around 3 inches top to bottom and side to side, not including the hook.

Gold ring Christmas ornament

This is a very simple project and looks great on a Christmas tree. The jump-rings are available at most craft stores in the jewelry supply section.

Happy crafting!

Kristin