Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another Year of Christmas Countdowns on Studio 5

With another year down, it's time once again for my Studio 5 Christmas countdown segment!  This year, I made things unique with a pop and a punch and a pull.  In fact, each calendar is unique with it's own interactive activity.  One of the best parts of these countdowns is the inexpensive price.  Each countdown can be completed for just a few dollars!

Balloon Pop Banner
I'm just a little obsessed with this fun, happy, cheerful countdown that is a total breeze to make!  I used dollar store red balloons and a white Bistro Chalk Marker (available at craft supply stores and Walmart) to complete this popping advent.  Simply stuff your balloons full of treats, blow them up, write on your numbers and decorate them as desired and use clothespins to hang them on a strung ribbon.  This advent really looks just adorable hanging across the scope of a room.  Each day, your little ones will love to pop a balloon and collect their fallen goodies!

Balloon Pop Board
The same popping principle applies to this mini board version of the balloon advent calendar.  I used a pre-wrapped canvas (available at craft stores) and cherry bomb water balloons to create this fun countdown.  Simply stuff the balloons with treats, blow them up, write on your numbers and decorate them as desired and then pull each balloon tie through a punched hole in the canvas.  I used a screwdriver and hammer to punch 24 holes in equally spaced rows.  The pictured canvas is 18x24.  
Advent Punch Box
This advent is another fun action packed way to count down the season.  It's so simple to create and lets you get back to your elementary crafting skills.  Just find a box, some wrapping paper, tissue and tinsel, and get going.  This idea was inspired by STUDIO DIY.  You can find her full great tutorial here.  I used my Dremel tool to create the box holes, and it was a breeze...remember...tinsel is like a crafting bandaid, it will fix all your raw edges.
Egg Carton Advent
Because eggs come in 24's, i've always wanted to craft an egg carton countdown.  This countdown was created using a clear egg carton from Costco.  Simply cut off the top of the carton, glue ribbon in the base of each hole, add a treat and thread your ribbon through a 1 3/4 inch circle punch.  Each day, untie a ribbon until the treats are all gone!

Chinese Lantern Popper Countdown
This countdown is so happy and festive.  The tinsel and cup shape give it a bit of a Chinese lantern feel, which I love!  These popping pinatas were inspired by Handmade Charlotte.  You can see her full tutorial here.  My version includes a cupcake liner cup, some twine for threading and beads as a pull tassel.  Get creative and have fun making yours custom for your style!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas Countdowns on Studio 5

It's the most magical time of year again and that can only  mean one thing...Christmas Countdown Calendars!!!  This ten year Studio 5 tradition has become one of my holiday favorites.  In fact, I glean ideas all year long!
To watch the complete segement visit: Studio 5 - Creative Christmas Countdown Calendars

This year, I've got 5 all new calendars for you to "Deck Out Your Halls" with.  I hope you love them as much as I do!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

This delightful statement calendar was inspired by Sugar and Charm and is just amazing!  When I saw her adorable gold, snow-kissed houses, I knew I had to share them with you!

This little town is created using Balsa wood, which can be found at the craft store.  And, here is the best part...you can cut it with scissors!  No saws needed! Her full tutorial is so amazing!  Just click here to get the exact instructions and dimensions I used to create my little houses.
The great thing about crafting is, your project is always 100% customizable!  I decided to create my village in three different colors to create more of a pop on my mantle.  I also added 2 sizes of houses to her original to give a little height variation.  Remember, when you're creating your town, add details to make it fit your decor and style.

To create three different sized houses, I simple added an inch or two to the bottom of each of the house pieces.  You can make them as tall or short as you desire by just changing that one measurement. 

Also, the gnome needs to be noted!  Isn't he adorable?  I picked him up in the miniatures section at Michael's for a few dollars.  He makes a perfect little addition to the town! 

Oh Christmas Tree

Whenever I see the adorable miniature trees in the craft store, I want to use them!  After seeing them used beautifully in an advent calendar by Oh Happy Day, my wheels started turning.
I love how she used the green trees with craft boxes.  It's just adorable!  

When I spotted these lovely snow flocked trees in the Christmas Village section of Michael's, I decided to do this advent up with a little more glam!  I love this advent for a more formal room or in more of an adult setting.  The gold lined boxes are perfectly posh and are lovely for storing a grown up treat or two!

To make this advent, I purchased the packages of trees and gold boxes at Michael's.  A dear friend volunteered to fold the boxes for me, so all I had to do was hot glue the trees to the top and add a tag!  So easy, and such a statement for your mantle or windowsill!  You can get a free download of the numbers I used here, or design your own!

Deck the Halls

I love this countdown because it is just so simple and can be made with supplies you most likely already have.  Glass cylinders or Apothecary jars can easily hold 24 ornaments.  Tie on a ribbon and a sign and you've got a countdown that doubles as a centerpiece!  Simply remove one ornament a day and add it to your tree.  It's just that easy!

All I Want for Christmas

If you are looking for a calendar that you can load up with lots of goodies, this is the one for you!  This wood based calendar has a very natural old world Christmas feel to it.  I just love the way it looks leaning up against a fireplace or wall!
The best part about this calendar is, even though it makes a statement, it is simple to create! To makes calendar, I used pre-cut wood from Lowes for the background (under $7), 1 1/2x1x8  wood to create the frame and little pails from the wedding section of the dollar store for the buckets.  If the thought of wood overwhelms you, you could purchase a pre-framed cork board and achieve a similar look.
I attached the pails with regular tacks.  Just punch a hole in the pail using a cropadile or drill and then stick the tack through the pail and into the wood.  For the numbers on each pail I used vinyl lettering, but you could use a plain sticker if you don't have access to a vinyl cutter.

Tie One On

Do you remember creating advents out of cellophane and ribbon?  This calendar is an updated twist on that technique!  To create this advent, all you need is a few yards of ribbon and some dollar store containers (packs of 6 or 8 are available in the arts and crafts section).
Fill your containers with small treats (m&m's are perfect), then simply fold a few yards of ribbon in half and start tying.  I tied several knots between each container to create more spacing.  I also threaded a bit of contrasting ribbon to create a bit of contrast and fluff!
You can download my numbers and tags here, or create your own to top off your countdown.  At around $5 a piece, these countdowns are great for individual kids rooms or to give away as pre-season gifts!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Whimsical, Wanderlust Nursery on Studio 5!

Studio 5 - Nursery Makeover
Welcoming a new baby into your home is such a big life step!  Since my brother and sister-in-law, Jessi, will be welcoming their first baby this spring, they've been making all the necessary preparations...the nursery being a major piece!  In conjunction with Studio 5, I teamed up with Jessi to create a whimsical wanderlust nursery that she'll love laying her sweet baby to sleep in.  Goodness!  I love it so much, I may be sleeping over too!
The idea for the nursery really began at the top...Literally!  Despite Jessi's reservations, I convinced her that we just had to do a hot air balloon ceiling for the baby's room.  Now that it's complete...We both couldn't be happier!  It is so fun and happy, you can't enter this room without smiling!  See the full instructions for creating a circus top ceiling of your own here.
Since Jessi and I both have a love of travel and wanderer hearts, we concurred that this baby girl's room needed to instill the love of adventure, dreaming, exploring and soaring high.  I love the thought of bringing motivation and strength into a room's decor, and that's exactly what we set out to do.  Once the ceiling was complete, we added a number of hot air balloon inspired elements to tie in our theme.
I got this adorable handmade Hot Air Balloon basket from Mindi Hannan of  Birds Eye Blue.  I fell in love with it first for it's baby photography potential, but it doubles as such an adorable storage bin for our room, I just couldn't resist!  These balloons are totally customized and made individually.  It really adds such a fun element to our room.
Our gallery wall was built from a number of frames (check out your local thrift store and add spray paint), filled with a variety of hot air balloon images.  I used free images found online and printed them at my local print shop.  Try using your photo editing software to add inspirational text or even customize the color of your images.
A little baby bunting goes a long way.  I love the way this little banner (pieced together from 2 pre-made banners available at Target) adds to this simple floating shelf.
Ever world explorer needs a good map!  I designed this watercolor map and had it printed in large format at Costco.  We then repurposed a thrift store frame with spray paint to create the perfect above the crib wall hanging!
You can't have a nursery without a mobile!  I love the way this little soaring mobile turned out.   The best part is...it was so easy!  Each balloon and cloud were hand drawn, cut in half, and then traced onto 6 sheets of paper, folded in half.  Cut each pattern out (with the folded side staying in tact) and then glue the 6 sheets together.  Attach string as desired.
Hanging the balloons from different heights allows for lots of movement for baby to watch.
I hung the mobile above the crib using a little c hook in the ceiling.  So simple!
One of my favorite pieces of the room is this Anthropology inspired hand painted globe.  Not only was it fun to create, but it is also an adorable accent piece for the travel inspired room.  See the full tutorial for creating a globe of your own here.

Forget the walls, paint the ceiling! on Studio 5

The very first time I saw a circus tent ceiling, I knew I needed to create a room around the idea!  So, when my sister-in-law approached me about her nursery, I roped her into the idea!
In the interest of full disclosure, it took 3 people about 20 hours combined to create this ceiling, but we would all say the end result was worth every moment on the ladder with our arms over our heads! The finished product is just absolutely magical!  So magical, that I have another balloon ceiling in the works for my new house!  Yay!

With that introduction....here's the how to for creating a circus tent ceiling of your own!
Begin with your wall color. For us, what began as a bubble gum pink room quickly transformed into a soft grey with a few coats of paint.  (Valspar's Blizzard to be exact)
Next, tackle the base color of your ceiling. Luckily, the ceiling in our room was already white, so we just taped off about 11 inches and continued the white down our wall to create a nice canvas for the stripes.
When selecting a paint color, keep in mind that colors on a wall are much bolder than they appear in a paint swatch.  Our original color got toned down to just a tint of tiffany blue in order to achieve our final results.  (We used Valspar Stillness to create our blue stripes).  We had originally started with a darker shade that would have been much too bold.
To measure our stripes, we used this very professional measuring guide (aka homemade cardboard cut to size).  We wanted even stripes around our room so we made one cardboard piece to size and the other to take in to account the two pieces of painters tape.
Note, the finished measurements alternate between what looks like one fat stripe and one skinny stripe.  What appears to be a skinny stripe is actually the same width as the fat stripe once the blue tape was removed.  Once the stripes are taped, mark each colored stripe with a small dot of colored paint, this will help you immensely in the process of painting and taping.
The next step that made this process sooooo much easier was using a chalk line system to mark off the tape lines.  Taping and chalking is definitely a two man process.  One person holds the chalk line in the center of the room, while the other holds it against the edge.  Once the line is placed, the tape is easy to apply.
Make sure to apply tape as firmly as possible, especially with textured ceilings.  A tight seal is imperative to getting a clean finish.
Have tape run as close to the center of the room as possible without blending lines.
We applied just one coat of blue paint so that the coverage was soft and ethereal.  You can definitely apply a second coat if desired, but keep in mind, the bolder the color, the more imperfections will show.  Remove tape while paint is still wet to insure a clean line.
Once all the tape is removed, gaze up and admire your work!  You won't be able to stop smiling!  It's just so engaging!  Once tape is removed, you can touch up any spots that are in need.
These vinyl wall decals (available at Target) made the perfect edge for our striped ceiling. 
We applied these decals just like a sticker to the bottom of our stripes.  With our textured walls and fresh paint, we did have to use spray adhesive to get them to adhere well.  The gold shimmer adds a bit of bling to the room and finishes off the stripes just perfectly!
Whether you use a scallop or a simple stripe, you'll want some way to finish off your stripe edge.
Since the circus tent stripes really draw your eye to the center of the room, the light fixture you choose is a major player in how the room turns out.  This gorgeous Murray Feiss bird cage chandelier was picked up at Lighting Design (Layton and Draper).  Their showrooms were just to die for!  Visiting their store made me want to replace every fixture in my home!
Because the stripes get tighter as you approach the room's center, you'll need a large fixture to take up the slack. Instead of using an expensive chandelier medallion to finish the center of the room, I found a 50 cent thrift store platter and cut a whole in it to fit the light fittings.  It couldn't be a more perfect centerpiece for this nursery!

To see more on the nursery process, watch the Entire Studio 5 Segment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas Countdowns 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and that means it's time to start counting down to the big day!  Today, I joined Studio 5 for another rendition of my Handmade Christmas Countdowns!  It's been nine years running, so it feels a bit like one of my own Christmas traditions. I hope you'll love this year's creations!

The Pallet Tree

I've been wanting to make my own version of the pallet board tree for several years now, but was always too overwhelmed by the idea.  This year, I finally bit the bullet and it was SO EASY!
Here's what you need to make your own:
4 wood fence slats (available from hardware stores)
A hammer
Furniture nails (for hanging bags)
Bags and numbers of your choice

Cut wood slats into pieces-one of each into the following lengths in inches: 52 (main post), 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 25, 29, 33, and two 10" lengths for the base.  Use nails to assemble tree as shown.
Once tree branches are nailed in place, assemble base with several nails to secure as shown.
Add furniture nails to hang treat bags on.  Decorate treat bags as desired and label with numbers. 
Fill bags as desired and watch as Christmas gets closer each day!

The Pin Board

From numbers to pictures, this vintage santa inspired calendar turns the days to Christmas one at time. No sugar involved!
Here's what you need to make your own:
Cork board (mine is from Target $9.99)
Mix of lettering and decorative elements for title (clean out your leftover bits and pieces)
Stick pins (mine are from the wedding section of Michaels)
Jewelry Pendants, tags, or just plain card stock (I got my pendants online from United Crafters. Love them!)
Brown ink pad to make edges look aged if desired.
Get creative with your scraps and put together a collage topper you love.  Start with a solid base piece and build from there.  Add different combinations of lettering and embellishments until it's just right.

Print downloadable file on card stock and cut for pendants or tags or your desired media.
Adhere vintage santas to one side of the pendants and numbers to the other so that as days are turned over, they reveal a santa print.
Use stick pins to tack numbers into place.

Turn numbers over each day to reveal a new santa picture and count down the days until he arrives!
The Party Cracker
This cheery countdown couldn't have been easier to put together and it makes a great centerpiece for the month of December!
Here's what you need to make your own:
Pre-Decorated Cardboard tubes (got mine from Michaels for about $5 for 24)
Cellophane wrap
Shred for tube filler
My Free Belly Band Download printed on paper weight paper
Wrap tube in cellophane cut to 4-5 inches longer than the tube length.  Secure with a small piece of tape in the center of tube.  Twist one end of wrapping and secure with ribbon.
After first side is tied. Stuff tube with treats and shred and tie opposite end closed.
Wrap belly bands around tubes and adhere with adhesive.
The Giving Tree
This tree brings a bit of nature into your home during the cold month of December.  I love the functionality of this countdown as it can be used on a table, counter, or shelf.
Here's what you need to make your own:
Branches cut from a tree (the tighter you fill the jar, the more stable it will be)
Mason Jar
Natural fabric bags (I got mine from Michael's)
Countdown tags and ribbon for attaching
My Free Iron on Transfer Number Printable (this will print in mirror image onto iron on transfer paper, which is available at most stores)
Free Number Printable (If you want the non-mirrored version of the numbers for regular printing)
If you're attaching numbers to fabric bags, print the iron on transfer number printable onto transfer paper and cut to size.  Use an iron according to instructions on paper packaging to adhere printing to fabric bags.
Fill bags with treats and hang from branches.
Design a tag using bits and pieces available from scraps of stickers and paper.  Use ribbon to tie tag to jar.
The Tin Pail Parade
If you're in need of a little mantle decor, this might be the ideal countdown for you. Pails are plenty big to hold a plethora of treats or games to help countdown to the big day! It would also be great as a table runner or shelf, or how about a window sill?

Here's what you need to make your own:
Small pails (I used 12 from the dollar section at Target)
Number tags
Treats and shred to fill
Design a tag that works for your decor.  I used plain craft tags and then built  up decorative elements to spice it up.