Have you ever looked around after completing your holiday decorating and thought – it needs something. Maybe it’s more color, more shine, or something new to rest on that shelf you hung a few months ago. Garlands to the rescue! Here are three easy-to-make garlands that will add that needed finishing touch to your holiday decorations.
1. Fa La La Garland This is an accordion garland perfect for a mantle, a desk , a coffee table or as the centerpiece on your holiday buffet. Simply decide what you want to spell out and how long it needs to be and that will determine how many folds you need in your garland. I glued several pieces of card stock end to end to have the length I needed. You can decorate each folded piece in numerous ways. I went for a Nordic/ski lodge feel and used printed letters on stickers to spell out the fa la la. The best part is it folds up neatly which makes it easy to move and store.
2. Santa Hat Garland I collect Santas so I wanted to make a garland that worked well with my collection. For this garland I cut diamond shapes out of red card stock and folded them over bakers twine to form the hats. I folded a white card stock rectangle over each hat for the white fur, and glued a white pompom on each tip. I alternated the hats with tiny jingle bells which I think makes the garland a little more fun. Be sure to use good glue to keep the hats in place. (Note: the card stock was more difficult to keep glued together but regular paper may not be sturdy enough.)
3. Christmas Lights Garland When I was in grade school my dad would line the eaves of our house with big, old-fashioned Christmas lights. I could see them out my bedroom window and sometimes they would be covered in snow, creating a soft glow of red, green, orange and blue. There’s no snow where I live now but I figured out a way to get a colorful holiday glow in my windows.
To make this garland, I used these directions for crayon hearts and this punch from EK Success. (Looks like the punch is discontinued but you could cut the shape by hand.) I spaced the lights out along a piece of black embroidery floss and glued each one to a piece of folded black construction paper. I love how the light shines through the melted crayons making unique patterns on each bulb. This one’s probably my favorite.
Just like people eat with their eyes, I believe gift-givng starts with the eyes. How a package is wrapped is as important to me as finding the perfect gift to give. I’m not always convinced I’ve selected a gift that’s “just right” (although I try), but I certainly can take the time to make sure the wrapping is top-notch.
When I stumbled upon the Most Gifted Wrapper contest, I had to enter. I thought of three different ways to wrap the same size box and carefully executed my plan. Wouldn’t you know it… you can only enter one wrapped gift. Bummer. This nature-themed gift was one of my rejected wrapping ideas. I don’t want to jinx it by posting the one I entered. If I win, I’ll share.
Do you love to wrap gifts? You have until December 10, 2014 to enter. By the way… I am not being paid by Scotch Brands to promote their contest (and I hope it doesn’t disqualify me!). I just got so excited about it I wanted everyone who loves gift wrapping as much as me to have a chance to enter.
When I was little, we always had an advent calendar. They were made of paper and generally depicted a manger scene, but sometimes the image was secular like the Santa advent calendar shown above. Every day my brother and I would take turns opening the tiny paper windows to reveal an image related to Christmas – a star, an angel, a bough of holly. Advent calendars were special and glittery and, at once, increased anticipation and managed expectations. There’s no need to ask, “how many days ’til Christmas?” when there’s an advent calendar in your home.
Advent calendars have morphed (especially if there are kids in the house) from a daily, brief moment of wonder to the added pressure of coming up with 24 tiny gifts or activities to enjoy every day. If you’re scrambling to come up with a last-minute advent calendar, here are five easy-to make versions made with materials that are easy-to-find or you may already have around your house or in your stash of craft supplies.
You will need empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes, paper, crepe paper, glue, scissors, pencil, construction paper, embroidery floss and needle.
1. Trace around the end of a empty tube with a pencil on a piece of paper. Draw four tabs. Cover opposite side of traced circle with crepe paper. Cut out both circles with tabs and glue one over one end of tube. Thread a piece of embroidery floss through the center of the other circle with tabs.
2. Fill the tube with treats and glue the second circle to the end of the tube to enclose the contents.
3. If there are gaps between your circle with tabs and the tube, cover them with more crepe paper. Cut three pieces of crepe paper about 6″ long and glue around the tube to cover it completely.
4. Cut eight pieces of crepe paper about 12″ long. Stack them and cut fringe about 3/4″ into the crepe paper and about 1/4″ apart. Starting at the bottom, glue each strip around the tube. They will wrap around the tube several times. It’s OK – don’t skimp!
5. Add some eyes and mouth using card stock. To access the treats, just pull the string!
Happy October! It’s time for all things Halloween. What’s your favorite Halloween decoration? Do you like cute or spooky? Do you make or buy?
This year I wanted to give mini piñatas a try. They are easy to make (although they do take some time) and crepe paper is a very forgiving medium. Fill them with candy, stickers, crayons, spider rings, etc. Or, leave them empty and create a garland. Here’s how I made them.