Holiday Ideas

Christmas

Twig Ornaments:

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Not too bad. If you don’t look at it too closely, that is. Hot glue is kind of blobby.

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Step One: Collect a pile of twigs.
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Step Two: Clean up the pile of twigs into clean, de-leafed smaller twigs.  Arrange into sizes.  Keep even really short pieces for filler.

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Step Three: Arrange your basic shape and, using hot-glue and a lot of patience, begin to assemble the outline of the star (or whatever shape you choose.) Use the remaining sticks to fill in the interior of the shape.  You want to aim for a random pattern. Then hang it with a pretty ribbon.

Evergreen Bough

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What you will need: one wire hanger, twine or twist ties or thin gauge wire, evergreen snippets. And some ribbon and maybe some ornaments for those finishing touches.

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Step 1: Take your wire hanger and pull the bottom part straight down from the middle. Straighten the sides so they don’t jut out as much. Take your hook and bend down until it forms a loop.

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Step 2) take some glue and wrap thin ribbon or thick twine around the loop, just enough to cover the metal wire. Let dry.
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Step 3) go outside. Find your spruces and your pines and your firs. Even your hollies. Find the dried berries on Hawthorne trees and beautiful red dogwood twigs.  Cut some parts about four-five inches long. Careful to take small snips from each plant so you don’t defrock one entirely.

Step 4) starting at the bottom of the metal piece. Begin to layer your evergreen pieces, like shingles. Secure each piece separately before covering it with the next piece. You want the two sides to touch (no gap in the middle) but you can make adjustments as you go. Use your creativity and use your winter berries and twigs and birch bark, etc. Whatever you find in your yard. 20131214-171215.jpg
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Step 5: as you near the top, make sure your last piece is secured a little higher than the hanger end (so that it covers the loop slightly).

Step 6:  to finish, tie a large bow or cluster of ornaments at the top.

Step 7: hang from on high and enjoy!

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Christmas Tags:

What you will need: card stock* and glitter and glue for style 1 and acrylic paint and brushes for Style 2. You will also need scissors and a hole punch if you have one. I scavenged around my house and came up with some postcards, used note cards, card stock and written-on thank you cards. Here is my pile of random paper.

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Step One: Take all that sturdy paper and cut it into squares and rectangles, and ovals**, making sure that if the front had a picture or print on it, the back is plain (i.e. cut around words and print on the backside).

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Step Two:

Style 1:

This tag style uses the picture or print on your card or postcard and makes it festive. If you can use Christmas cards, your work is probably already done. If not, get out your glue and glitter and get to work.

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These photos don’t quite capture the sparkly wonder that is each gift tag. I couldn’t get the light just right. But, trust me. They are glorious.

Style 2:

Style two lets you create your own design. I stayed true to easy cookie cutter-type shapes so they were easy to make. I laid out a group of tag and got busy.

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I then painted my snowmen and Christmas trees and ornaments, and gingerbread men, and stockings. I just used the acrylic paint I had– which included some odd colors and which disappointingly did not include red. They seem to have worked out despite that. Other than that little commentary, I don’t need to tell you how to paint. You’ve been doing this since grade school.
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After the paint is dry, punch holes in tags to hang from gift bags and to thread with ribbon on packages. I also have this neat sticker making machine that lets me make strips of sticky gift tags. However if you wanted yours to stick, you could use spray adhesive or lightly applied glue. Don’t forget to add ” To” and “From” with a fine tip felt or permanent marker to make these tags official.

* Other ideas for what to use as card stock: the backs or covers of note pads, folders, dried goods card board packaging.

**I actually cut these ovals using a fancy little cutting tool set my friend had. I don’t have one. These were left over from when I did this project a couple of years ago. I probably wouldn’t try and free-hand circles and ovals. That’s okay. The squares and rectangles work just fine.

Step Three:  USE!!

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Christmas Rag Wreath:

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What you need: one wire hanger, and a pile of fabric. Odd and bits are fine. 20131207-133314.jpg
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Step One: Take your pile of fabric and make strips 4-6 inches long.

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Step Two: Stretch your hanger until it becomes a circle. It does not need to be perfect, just round.

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For this wreath, I left the hook on, however you could snip the two sides beneath the hook and entwine the wire ends together. I left it on to use as its own hanging implement. You’ll see.

Step Three:  Take your strips and start tying knots.

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Step Four: Embellish, hang and admire!  

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To hang, simply twist the hook 90 degrees to the back, and you can hang this over the door. If that doesn’t work for you, you can leave the hook as it was and bend it down into a loop. Use your glue of choice to cover the loop with fabric so it doesn’t look so much like a hanger. Now you can hang this from those over the door hooks or from a ribbon. You can also just snip the hook off, just remember where it is because that will be a sharp piece of wire. The fabric should hide the snipped wire. You can hang with a nice piece of ribbon through the wreath.

 

 

Halloween

 

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