Friday, November 30, 2012

Easy 30-minute rectangular Christmas wreath

Sometimes it’s good to be square…or even rectangular.  Different is good and easy is even better.  This wreath whips up in minutes and looks wonderful.  You only need a few supplies and in no time you will have Christmas wreath to be proud of.

You will need:

An 11 x 14 inch wooden frame without the glass (this is your wreath base)

Two six-foot non-wired garlands (there are a wide assortment of garlands available at craft stores and most are 50% off!)

20-gauge wire

Wire cutters

Wired ribbon or ready-made bow

1.     Starting at the upper left hand corner, attach one end of one of the garlands to the frame with an 8-inch piece of 20-gauge wire.  Twist to secure.  Begin to tightly wrap the garland around the frame stopping at the next corner.  Use another piece of wire to secure the garland to that corner twisting to the back.

2.     Continue wrapping till you reach the next corner and with another piece of wire secure to the frame tightly twisting the wire to the back.  (Half the wreath is covered)

3.     Attach the second garland with another piece of wire where you ended the first garland.  Wrap the garland as before, stopping at the next corner to secure with another piece of wire.

4.     Continue wrapping the garland until you reach the starting point and attach with a piece of wire twisting to the back.  (You should have the entire wreath covered)   Add a loop of twisted wire to the center back for hanging.

5.     Make a bow with some 2 inch wide wired ribbon (Instructions for making bows are upcoming in subsequent posts but there are very good instructions for making bows on the website Bowdabra or you can purchase a ready made bow and attach it with some wire to the side of your wreath.

Note:  You can change the size and even the shapes of the frames.  A good place to get inexpensive frames is at a thrift store.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recycled K-Cup Snowman ornament

Wondering what to do with all those used K-cups?  Do you have a scout troop or Sunday school group that needs an inexpensive recycling project?  You have come to the right place.  This project is quick, easy, and cute, and best of all recycled.

You will need:

Two used K-cups, one black and one white. (Filters removed and washed.)

Black Felt

Black and orange dimensional fabric paint

12” of 1/8” ribbon

Tacky craft glue



Nail or something to puncture a hole in the tops of the K-cups

Round paper punch

White colored pencil to mark on dark felt


Large eye darning needle (optional)

Pony bead

1.     Insert the white pencil in the compass and make a 1 ½” diameter circle on the black felt.  In the same starting point make another circle inside the first one at a 1” diameter.  Cut out the first circle and then cut out the center circle. You will have a felt ring.  (See photo)

2.     Slide the felt ring on the black K-cup stopping at the rim.  Snowman’s hat made. Set aside.

3.     Turn the white K-cup upside down and make a hole in the center with the nail.  Repeat for the black K-Cup with the felt rim. 

4.     Place the top of the black K-cup down on the black felt and trace around with the white pencil.  Cut out.  Make a mark on the felt where the center hole is and make a hole with the paper punch.  Line up the felt with the hole on the top of the hat and glue down with some tacky glue.  Let dry.  Trim any excess felt with the scissors.

5.     Thread a pony bead on the ribbon, center so that it is in the middle with six inches on each end.  Insert both ends of the ribbon through the hole in the white K-Cup.  The pony bead will secure it to the inside. You may use a large eyed darning needle here to get  through the hole easier although I had no trouble doing it with just the ribbon.  Tie a knot in the ribbon one inch from the top of the white K-Cup, and then continue to thread it through the top of the black K-cup.  The knot separates both of the K-Cups so they hang independently. (See photos)

6.     Tie a knot in the top of the final end of the ribbon to hang the ornament. 

7.     Tilt the hat so you can use the black and orange dimensional fabric paints to make a face on the snowman.  (See photo) If you want, you may add some glitter glue on the top of the hat for extra pizzazz. Let the paint and glitter dry.  When hanging the hat will sit straight with the snowman dangling under. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's ornament making time!

The day after Thanksgiving I always put out my Christmas decorations, and since I have three Christmas trees, I use a lot of ornaments.  Every year I make some new ones and you should too.  Handmade ornaments you create from the heart are always a treasure. Here are the first four of many I will be posting in the days leading up to the main one!  Some you may have seen before, some are from my other blog, so let's get crafting!

1.  Reindeer candy cane pocket ornament

2.  How to etch a glass ornament

3.  Recycled CD snowflake ornament

4.  Candy cane stick horse

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Duct tape coasters

All the stores are starting to get in cool Christmas duct tape designs, and just in time for your Christmas decorating.  These coasters whip up in a flash and are easy enough for the kiddies.  They make terrific hostess gifts so why not make some extra to give away.

You will need:

Corrugated cardboard

Christmas printed duct tape

Felt to match your duct tape

Tacky glue


Ruler, pencil

Pinking shears

Pearl string beads

1.     To make a set of four coasters, cut four 3 ½” squares from the corrugated cardboard.   Cover one side of each cardboard square with 3 strips of duct tape.  Trim the excess duct tape for about ½” overlapping around each square. 

2.     Trim the corners at an angle and fold each edge to the back.  Repeat for all the cardboard squares.

3.     Cut four pieces of felt 5”x 5”.  Add some tacky glue to the back of each duct tape covered square and attach to the felt square.  Make sure you center the duct tape covered squares evenly around on the felt.  Let dry.

4.     Add some tacky glue all around cardboard edge and attach some string pearls.  Let dry.  Use a pair of pinking shears to trim around the felt leaving about ½” edge.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Make and wear mini Pilgrim hat

Thanksgiving will soon be here. Why not have some fun at your Thanksgiving celebration.  This miniature pilgrim hat is quick and easy to make and since there are hair clips under the brim to hold it secure, wearing it is easy--and fun.

You will need:

Small black doll hat (available in craft stores)

Brown felt

Small piece of metallic print or solid cardstock

Ruler, tape measure



Tacky craft glue or hot glue gun and glue sticks

White colored pencil for marking on dark felt

Two metal spring type hair clips

1.     Measure and cut a 1 ¼” square from the metallic cardstock.  Measure ¼” inch around each side of the square creating a center square.  Cut out.  The opening will be a ¾” square. (See photo) 

2.     Measure the circumference around the hat.  (Mine was about 11 inches)

3.     Measure and cut a strip of felt ¾” x the circumference of the hat.  Add a bead of tacky glue around the hat and attach the felt strip.  Make sure it meets at each ends and trim if necessary.

4.     Add some glue to the back of the Cardstock Square and attach over the felt strip.  This will be the center front of the hat.

5.     Using the white colored pencil make a mark along each underside of the hat to assure proper placement of the hair clips.  Add some glue to the marks and attach the hair clips. Make sure you only glue the bottom of the clip to the hat so that it can open freely.  You may have to hold the clip open until the glue sets.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Easy money" folded five pointed origami star

I am posting these instructions by request.  Every year around Christmas I fold origami stars out of five one-dollar bills.  Sometimes I leave them as tips in restaurants. (And many times the waiters or waitresses follow me out to ask how to do it)  Other times I give them as gifts with a string attached for hanging on the tree. Most people love them and think they are complicated to create, but if you can fold a paper airplane you can fold an origami dollar star. You can make them using one dollar bills but if you feel generous you can certainly make them with fives, tens, twenties, fifties…well you get the picture. A chopstick, butter knife or skewer makes it easier to tuck the pieces together.

1.     Lay a dollar bill with the ONE facing up on the table and fold it in half lengthwise.

2.     Open the fold and fold the top corner to the fold line.  Repeat on the other side.

3.     Turn the bill so the point is facing you.  Fold the point up to the edge of the circle on the fold line.

4.     Turn over so the folded edge is at the top.  Fold the right hand corner to the center fold line.  Fold again.

(Just like you are making a paper airplane.) Repeat on the other side.

5.     Turn over.  You have made a pointed flap.  Take the bottom edge and fold up under the flap.  Fold it again under the flap and repeat it a third time. You now have a star point with a tab on each side. The front will be the one with the flap and the back has a pocket.

6.     Make four more star points for a total of five.

7.     To assemble start from the back.  Tuck one of the folded tabs into the back pocket of another.  Then tuck the front tab under the flap on the front.

8.     Repeat this around for all the points.  The last one is the hardest but with the help of a chopstick or butterknife you can easily tuck it in.  It stays together nicely. 
9.     Of course if you want to spend the money it’s easy to unassemble and spend!

front of point

back of point

back of star

Easy, easy and so much fun!  It is best to use crisp, new one dollar bills to fold since it makes a sturdier star.  You can easily ask your bank for new dollar bills and have fun, believe me... "you can't make just one!"

Note: After you have a bunch of these it is easy to adapt the pattern to rectangular sized origami paper too.