Cheri: I cannot believe I have done 3 ornaments so far. Christmas is coming way too quick this year.
Scrap Paper Christmas Trees
Scrap paper or scrap book paper (I used a gift bag for the green tree)
Hole punch or a needle (the hole punch needs to be a small one)
Glue (If you would like to glue your tubes closed)
The easy part:
Cut strips of paper, in different widths. I think mine were 4 inches, 3 ½ inches, 3 inches, and down to maybe a ¼ of an inch. I made all the strips about 4 inches in length. Roll the strips like you are making little straws. After you have them all rolled, just find the center in each one and put a hole in it. Make sure you go all the way through it. This can be a little tricky if the paper is thick. This is when a needle is helpful. Run the wire through the tube. You can make a loop in each end of the wire and string them separately, or you can string all of them in a row on a wire, moving from largest to smallest. I put a bead in between each one.
I really like how these ornaments turned out and I think they will be a great addition to our Ornament Advent Tree.
Cheri: I love comics, funnies, and cartoons. And I really love using comics for craft projects. This one is a favorite of mine. I hope you like it.
Circle template (cup, glass, anything circular and in whatever size you would like, my circles were about 2 ½ inches in diameter).
Glue (any kind is fine).
Cardstock, (just a small circle is needed).
6 inches of ribbon
Fold the Sunday paper up so you can cut as many circles at once as possible. Then cut all of the circles in half. When you roll the paper, you want the circular edge to be the outer rim of the cone. Make about 45 cones and lay them aside.
Cut a smaller circle from the cardstock, this is just for a base to glue to.
Lay your cones around the cardstock circle, with the points touching, when you like how it looks, put a small amount of glue on each one and glue down. Place the next row of cones, try to put these in the little valleys created by the first row. You will be using a few less. Finally, glue one straight into the center, there should be a small spot for it. Do the same on the other side of the circle of cardstock.
Look at your ornament, and if you notice any thin spots just glue another cone into the spot. If you would like, you can glue more cones inside of the first cones. This gives the ornament a rose bud look.
What a fun project to make with the funnies, just make sure you read them first.
Lynne: I was surfing the web hoping to find an idea for our Advent Countdown when I came upon this great video from EepyBird. I fell in love with the sticky note pinwheels and started to think how I could modify one into an ornament. I needed a pad of pop up sticky notes, a glue stick, a darning needle, monofilament fishing line, micro glitter, spray adhesive and two buttons.
EepyBird.com counts out twelve pairs of pop up sticky notes and then glues the endnotes of the stack to each other. The structure is rotated three times to make the pinwheel. I must admit that I had to watch the video several times before I understood how the turns were done. If I watched where the doubled edges were each time the figure was turned, I could manage the proper sequence. Their excellent tutorial video is here.
The resulting structure holds its shape enough to roll down an incline, but not well enough to hang on a tree. I decided to gather the fins (the doubled edges) to prevent the pinwheel from coming apart. I used a large-eyed darning needle (sharp enough to go through the paper) with about 20 inches of fishing line. I used fishing line since it is invisible and I had a spool in my craft drawer. Using the needle to punch a hole about 1/8 inch from the edge (see photo below), draw the thread of fishing line through each fin until all the fins are gathered in a circle. Pull the line tight and knot the ends. Don’t cut the thread.
I used the two buttons to cover the hole in the middle of the pinwheel. Thread one of the buttons onto your fishing line and then push the needle through to the other side of the pinwheel. Gather these fins the same way, add the other button and tie a knot to keep everything together.
I used spray adhesive and micro glitter to add some holiday sparkle. For the hanger, I made a loop with the fishing line and attached it to two fins (see photo below) for the best balance.
I really like how the pinwheel looks and was especially pleased to make something with such an unusual material.
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.
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).
Cheri: I received a call from my sis, (Lynne), the other day discussing the button give away. She wondered if I could make the next ornament in the Christmas Ornament Countdown with vintage buttons to coincide with the Vintage Button Giveaway. And my reply was, sure, let me see what I can come up with.
I love buttons, and as I have said before, I have a lot of them. So I picked up two of my jars and poured them out on the coffee table and started sorting them. As I was looking at them, I noted that I had a lot of vintage white glass buttons. These buttons are beautiful, but they are pretty plain.
I spent some time looking at them conjuring an image in my head of what I wanted to make. I decided I would use a styrofoam ball and hot glue to make the ornament resemble a snowball.
I started gluing, and gluing and gluing. I was shocked at how many buttons I ended up using, but I really love how the ornament looks. I think the glass buttons give it a really nice reflective sheen and the glue that you can see looks a little bit like ice.
I hope everyone is able to get in on the button giveaway and I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas.
Cheri: Teeny tiny terrariums are pretty fascinating places. Those little spaces made with very few items can evoke a whole world by what you see when you look into it.
These little spaces are really quite easy to make and once you have your materials, you can make several at once.
I love to buy things from gumball machines, not only do I like the prizes, but I think I like the containers the prize comes in even more. They certainly lend themselves to this kind of craft.
Gumball vending machine containers
Air dry white clay
Small piece of mirror or tiny glass
To start with make a hole in the container. To do this you need to remove the cap and hold the clear dome so you have the convex part toward you. I heated an ice pick to make the hole.
After I had the hole completed, I took a piece of wire and made a loop on one end. I threaded the end of the wire without the loop through the hole and made another loop on the outside of the dome and cut off the wire.
To make the base of the tiny space, I used the cap of the container. I glued a small bit of air dry clay into the base and squished the piece of glass, or mirror in the center. Then I took a piece of chenille (I used tinsel chenille) and cut it very small to look like a tree. I glued this into the clay.
I glued very small animals beside the chenille tree to make it look like a snow scene and let the bottom portion dry overnight. I do this to make sure that there is no shrinkage. After it dries I take a small paintbrush and brush glue over all the surfaces that I want to put snow/glitter on. Shake off the excess and glue the bottom onto the top. This makes it permanent. Make sure you use just plain old glue for this part. I used an epoxy once and melted the face off of a deer (kind of creepy).
And there you go, all done. The little ones would look great on a small tree and the one that is a little larger I made just to set on my desk. I really enjoy looking into it and feeling the mood of the season any time of year.
Lynne:Crafty Challenge 5 was a challenge for me. I don’t believe I have made any Christmas ornaments for several years and it was tough to get my mind back into that red and green groove.
I like long garlands and I like them to be lit. Strings of Christmas tree lights seemed to me to be the best way to start, so I bought a strand of 100 clear Christmas tree lights. I needed the light strand to be decorated and the longer I looked at them the more the bulbs looked like the centers of flowers. Why not put a flower around each light bulb? The flower I made for my Do It Best Purse in the hardware store challenge would be the perfect fit to go around the collars of the light bulbs.
I plugged in my strand of lights for two hours to check on how hot they would get. I could still hold them in my hand at the end of the two hours so I used red tissue paper. However, be safe and turn off your tree lights whenever you leave the house.
Tissue paper comes folded in its package. When you unfold the paper the creases are good guidelines for cutting the long strips. I cut through all of the layers at the same time, because there was less chance of the sheets slipping while they were still in the original folds. I used a rotary cutter and the resulting strips were about 3″ wide.
I folded the strip in half and then separated the layers into stacks of two strips each. (The number of layers can vary depending on how thick the paper is and how frilly you want the flowers.) I taped the unfolded edge with scotch tape. I put half the tape on one side then flipped the strip over and folded the tape up onto the other side. Then I used scissors to cut the folded edge of the strip into fringe.
Once you’ve fringed the length of the strip, cut it into 5″ sections. 5 inches worked best for me but you can make the sections longer if you want fuller flowers. Take each 5″ section and roll it around one of the light bulb plastic holders. The holders are plastic and I found that a dab of hot glue when you first start to roll the flower is strong enough to hold the flower in place. Once you have the flower rolled use a piece of tape to keep it closed. I put a flower on every other light bulb and I was just able to finish the garland in two hours.
I liked the results so much that after the challenge was over I made another garland and bought a white Christmas tree to put them on.
Cheri: This is my second ornament in the Christmas Ornament Countdown. I like to work in paper and when I can use paper that was something else at one time, that makes it doubly good. These ornaments are made from paper and toilet paper rolls. They are really quite easy to make.
All you need to do is take the roll and flatten it. Then take a ruler and measure in ¼ inch increments. After that is done cut them apart with scissors, or if you have a large paper cutter you can use that. You will have several rings of cardboard. I like to start out with a flower pattern and work from there. You can bend the cardboard into any shape that you want and just let your imagination take over.
After I had them glued together, I spray painted them with silver metallic spray paint, then I sprayed adhesive glue and sprinkled them with glitter.
When you are faced with an empty paper roll, you may want to think twice before throwing it out. You never know what you can make out of it.
Cheri: Well, another project come and gone. This one did not freak me out too much. I am always making little projects.
Sometimes I will see an object that I really like because it stirs up memories of being a kid. That is what happened when I bought these Christmas tree light bulbs at a garage sale a few months ago. I was drawn to the color, (pink) and I really liked the vintage feel of them too.
I knew that I would never use bulbs like these on a lighted string (who could trust them), but I still liked the look of them. They were the kind of lights we had on our tree when I was a kid. I don’t even know if these are sold anymore. They do have a tendency to get hot and really the newer, small lights are brighter.
When I saw them for 50 cents, I couldn’t think of anything to do with them at the time so I tucked them away for when an idea came. When this project was discussed, I felt that I could possibly use the light bulbs for something. I was pretty sure what I wanted to do and I was also sure that the idea would work pretty well. All I really needed was hot glue, ( I am the Queen of hot glue).
For the 14 point star ornament, I started out with glue on the metal tips and then I put one light bulb in the center on each side. I tried to do this mathematically but as I am math challenged, I decided to go by sight. It came out pretty well the first time and I knew that I really didn’t want to press my luck so I decided it looked pretty symmetrical.
For the eight point stars, I just glued 4 together and glued 4 more together and attached them. I hot-glued buttons onto them to cover the glue in the center.
I then decided I needed a hanger that was not very noticeable. In the box were 2 bulb clips, so I took one bulb off the star, attached the clip and then glued the bulb back on. This way I can attach a hook to it.
All in all I was quite pleased with the outcome and I think it will look terrific on a tree. The best thing is it was really simple and cheap. I just love it when a plan comes together.
The back of the 14 point star ornament with hanger.
We have just finished our Crafty Challenge 4 and are ready for number 5! This one is all about the time of year. From around now until Christmas, the Crafty Sisters begin to get secretive. We tend to stop discussing our projects with each other and mutter a lot, or at least I mutter a lot.
For us, this is crunch time for Christmas gifts and we do make a lot of them. In this vein, Crafty Challenge 5 is all about Christmas Decorations. We did need to limit this somehow and due to the whole Christmas crunch time I mentioned, the best idea was an actual time limit. So, the challenge is to create a Christmas decoration in less than two hours. We even set a specific time. December 4th – 10am until 12pm is the making time and the unveiling will be at 12:30pm. We can think all we want and purchase the supplies in the meantime, we just cannot start making the decorations until 10am.
To get us in a holiday mood, I thought some examples of a few of our past Christmas decorations was in order. So, get your mind in gear and get thinking (but don’t get making yet!).
If you have any questions about any of the above decorations or would like to know how they were made, ask us! You can email us in the Contact Us section of the blog.
These were all decorations I had in my Christmas storage and I realize that almost all of them were made by Cheri. You can definitely see who we will be comparing ourselves to. Wish us luck and you get crafting!