Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Decor - A Bit DIY, A Bit Nutcracker

Here's a taste of the craziness I call my Holiday Decor. It's part crafty and part Nutcracker to feed my obsession with Nutcrackers. Above I had some silver glittered feathers I put out in a little glass for shine!
 I have lots of wood in my family room and I used some greenery to up the Holiday spirit and threw some berries and colorful garland around it.
 I have a candleholder on my table to which I hung the Christmas Tree Paper ornaments I made

This is in my entry hall. I have more glittered feathers in a glass tube with bells in it on a candleholder. 
 Here's a quick idea. Put ornaments and a string of lights in a glass vase and you have some festive decor.
My vintage button tree has to be my favorite thing I've made ever. I took it and put it in a vintage candy dish that I spray painted with primer so it looks matte white. There are the mason jar snow globes that I made as well. 
 I inherited all of these vintage buttons so with color pins, I stuck them on a styrofoam cone. It took forever and a day but if you have nothing to do for a few days, make one.
 One of my favorite nutcrackers, the Sushi Chef. If you know me, you know why.
 Here's my kitchen cooking tree. I have wooden cooking utensils, colorful balls and hand knitted mini mittens on this tree.
 Not really a decoration, but don't you love my little bar. This vintage cart cost me $40 at a flea market and I didn't have to do a thing to it.
These are the Nutcrackers in the place of honor, above the TV. These are the characters represented in the Nutcracker: the Mouse King, Clara, Dr. Drosselmeyer. Plus my very first nutcracker on the left and Santa on the right.
The mantle with nutcrackers and stockings.
Our Christmas tree is mostly Nutcrackers with a few other treasured ornaments thrown in. Above are some glittery nutcrackers.
 Here's a close up of a knitted pair of mini mittens I made. Here's a pattern for them if you want to make them.
 More nutcrackers.
 In my kitchen, I keep the cooking/baking themed nutcrackers.
 I used a vintage hankie to put under my plate rack. It's red and green, so...in keeping with the holiday theme.
 In my kitchen, on a ledge behind our eating booth I put these little beer cork trees I made. Pretty self-explanatory. I hope you enjoyed a peek into my home.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My Other Half

Did you know that I started a food blog? It's The Unassuming Foodie. I probably didn't mention it here because I was so caught up getting it started. I will be posting about food there that I make and how food I eat at restaurants and see in recipes online inspire me to make it my own.
Here's my latest post about something yummy I saw and then recreated it to my taste. Please visit and comment, often.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Mason Jar Snow Globe DIY

I was shopping in Anthropologie last week and I saw this salt shaker with a little Christmas tree in it and some snow. Then I saw mason jars with the same. I had a bunch of jars at home and I knew I had to make these.
What you'll need:

  1. mason jars and other jars of various sizes such as salt shakers, spice jars, jam jars, pickle jars
  2. Christmas trees. I got a pack of 21 at Michael's for sale 50% off
  3. other holiday items you may want to glue
  4. mini ball ornaments
  5. glue gun
  6. Epsom salts                           
I took various trees and glued them to the lids of the jars. I added a little Epsom salt to desired amount into the jar. Close the lid and turn upside down. That's it!

A different jar, I took little trees and glued the ornaments onto the bottom of the trees and then put them in the jar upside down, added salt, closed the jar and those just float freely.

Such a simple project and so impressive! I love upcycling items I already have laying around.

Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial

Paper is so versatile but without special cutting tools, I didn't think I could make anything. Then, I found this tutorial for these beautiful tree ornaments on a Russian blog and thought I had to make these this year. I'm showing you the steps I took and explaining them a bit more thoroughly than I saw on that site. 
What you'll need:
  1. scrapbooking paper
  2. scissors or a circular cutter
  3. paper folding bone/tool. I just used a credit card
  4. needle and string thicker than thread. I used thin cotton yarn
  5. glue gun and glue sticks

Cut 4 circles: 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 5 inch.
 Fold each in half with the design side on the outside.
 Then fold each one in half 90 degrees from the last fold with the design side on the outside.
 Turn the circles over and fold each one in half 45 degrees from the other folds. the design side should be on the inside now.
 Flip the circles so the design sides are on the outside and the fold you just made folds inward. Easy so far, right?
Now your circles all look like this.
 Take the smallest circle, thread your needle but don't cut the yarn. String the needle up from the non-design side of the circle through to the design side. Make a loop desired size and string back from the design side to the non-design side. Cut the yarn with enough length to make a little knot. cut off extra yarn.
 Turn it back so the design side is on the outside.
 You are going to start the glueing now. The circles will fit inside each other as above. Don't push them all the way in but leave the sections so that the edge of the circles flare out a bit. See finished pictures.
Place the glue dot just on one side at a time; front and then back. Add the next section and repeat until complete. That's it. You're done!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Nuts and Bolts Box DIY

I was inspired to make this decorative box after seeing the below picture of a resin box on The Foundary. The best part? It was practically free. 

 The resin box from The Foundary that inspired me was priced at $29.
I started with a wood balsa box that held sea salt caramels I purchased for a recipe for Thanksgiving. I removed the labels and it was a perfect canvas for my project.
Then I scoured the garage for various nuts, screws, and bolts of all kinds. Shhh. Don't tell my husband.
 I started randomly glueing the hardware onto the box using a glue gun after spray painting the top.
Spray paint primer is awesome for this project, because it not only primes the wood and metal, but it's also the paint that I used for the project. It results in a matte finish which is pretty classy.

 Here's the finished box. Pretty interesting as a little decorative item, don't you think?
So, a practically free project that took minimal time. What's not to like? And just think of the possibilities. Boxes hold holiday candy and cookies, or you probably have any box laying around the house. Don't like the hardware? Think of other items you could use: rubberbands, beads, rocks. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. What makes it interesting is using the same type of item in multiples.