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. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hip Hip Hooray! It's Party Popper Time!

Today Studio 5 celebrated their 8th birthday!  I can hardly believe it's been 8 years since I started participating in this fun show! What a blessing it has been to get to share my love of crafting in such a unique way! As part of the live birthday celebration, I spotlighted this fun party favor that will make any event POP!

Party Popper Ingredients:
Plastic push pops (available at Michaels as a set of 12 or online)
Homemade Confetti (tissue paper, metallic and paper crinkle)
Patterned Paper
Scissors, 1" hole punch, scotch tape, double sided adhesive or fast setting glue, spray paint, paper cutter.

Party Popper Instructions:
Make your own fun-filled confetti using an assortment of light weight elements.  I used metallic and paper shred and tissue paper to create an eclectic mix. Cut all of your elements into bitty pieces that will float through the air easily.
To create circle confetti, fold tissue paper repeatedly and punch with 1" circle punch. If your tissue isn't cutting well, try adding more sheets of tissue, or top tissue with a plain sheet of paper to create some stiffness. 
Use spray paint to color the "push stick" portions of the party poppers. Allow to dry well and then place sticks in each popper.
Fill poppers with desired amount of confetti. *HINT* Confetti goes a long way when it's bursting through the air, so no need to overfill.
Cut a small square of tissue that will cover the top of the popper. Use scotch tape or adhesive to adhere tissue around popper top so that it is secure.
Cut a strip of patterned paper that will cover the party popper with some overlap.  Use double sided adhesive or glue to adhere paper to popper. (mine were 3x6")
Pass out your poppers and watch as your party becomes an explosion of confetti fun! *HINT* For best results, slowly slide the stick up to the top of the confetti so that there is a slight pressure against the tissue.  Then pop stick through tissue for the greatest POP!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Perfect Picnic on Studio 5

Today I had the blessing of visiting with the great people at Studio 5 and sharing some fun ideas for papering up your outdoor party or picnic.  I have to admit, I'm pretty much in love with this bright and cheery dining setup that can be customized for any occasion.
For this festive table, I began with standard kraft packing paper. I rolled the paper out to create a blank crafting canvas.  I stenciled artisan label shapes directly onto the kraft paper and then used acrylic craft paint to fill in the drawn label. This paint project came alive to create custom place mats for each place setting.
Then, I added a fringed crepe paper skirt to the table to give the scene a splash of whimsy! This skirt was so easy to create using basic rolls of colored crepe paper and a pair of scissors.  Fringing the crepe paper adds so much dimension and texture to the basic streamers.  I love the look it created!
To create the fringed skirt, I layered the correct lengths of crepe paper streamers into cu-table stacks. Being careful not to cut through the width of the streamer, I used scissors to cut fringe in both sides of the crepe paper stack.

A great tutorial for fringed streamers can be found at A Subtle Reverly.
After you've fringed your streamers, group them into color splashes and staple each grouping together.  I draped my groupings onto twine and attached the twine to the table top using tablecloth clips.  Using the clips makes the garland of streamers reusable for my next event!
For years I've been dreaming of creating a portable canopy holder that could be used for different drapes and banners.  This is the project that finally made that dream a reality!

To create the banner canopy, I picked up 4 metal poles (electrical conduit) from the hardware store.  I had the very nice men at the store cut my poles to size for me, then I used spray paint to add color to the poles.
Once my poles were painted, I used quick dry cement mix (available at the hardware store-typically used to mount flag poles or mailboxes) to secure the poles in cute buckets I found at the dollar store.
Now, don't let the idea of pouring cement overwhelm you...It was so easy!  All I had to do was pour the cement mix into the bucket and add the correct amount of water.  I stirred the mix together with the pole and then stuck the pole into the mix.  I did use a level to make sure my pole was standing up straight and then I secured the pole in the upright position while it dried.  The quick set cement takes about 20 minutes to set and I bought a 50lb bag for under $5!
Once the cement was set, I threw in some leftover streamers to cover up the cement and dress up the bucket a bit more.
I topped each pole with a crystal doorknob-also available at the hardware store. The doorknobs come in sets of two, so I only had to buy 2 packages.  At about $8 each, they make the most adorable finials for my canopy!
The canopy really came together when I added a variety of mixed medium banners.  Try using different elements, sizes, shapes and colors in your banners to give it a flea market feel.  I also draped streamers of tulle and crepe paper from the top of each pole.
I draped banners at different heights from all 4 poles to create a fun paperie canopy!
No picnic is complete without a delicious basket of goodies!  For these picnic baskets I picked up fun red baskets from the dollar store. At $1 each, you can't get cuter!
I lined my baskets with coordinating tissue paper and filled them with a delectable variety of tasty picnic treats.
I used a pre-made chalkboard label (available at Michael's for 2 for $1.50) to customize each basket for my guests.  A simple paper pinwheel added the final touch of happiness to each basket.
Whether you're having a birthday party, a bridal shower, or just a fun summer gathering with friends, I hope these snippets of creativity will enhance your celebration.  I had a delightful time enjoying this summer picnic with a few of my closest girlfriends! Happy summer!