Dec 13, 2013

diy ideas: holly leaves & gift wrapping

Here's a quick idea for gift wrapping, especially if you made one of the previous projects using the cut-out holly leaves and you happen to have a few extra leaves left-over! 

When it comes to gift wrapping, I love layering! It's my secret weapon to making my gifts look presentable. I'll layer, ribbons, bows, leaves or flowers, gift tags and everything gets clipped together with a little clothespin. 

To make the sewn holly leaves, I cut out 2 different sizes to use, one small and one large. Sew 2 leaves together and look for little pieces of trim, fabric or ribbon to use for the middle of the leaf. Once you have a few leaves sewn, gather materials to layer together and a gift that needs some embellishing! (I think these holly leaves would be really pretty if you used vintage sheet music - I may try that today!)

I have a to-do list a mile long today! It may be a tad overly ambitious for a single days work, but I'm going for it - and, with a little luck, I'll hopefully have a new tutorial and giveaway to post this weekend. 

Happy Friday to all!  xo ~ tara

Dec 12, 2013

diy ideas: Holly Wreath

Make a simple & pretty holiday wreath with just a few paper leaves and a coat hanger! 

Just like yesterdays project, we'll use similar products as well as the technique to make a really simple wreath to hang up this holiday season! 

{I had intended getting this posted last night, but instead I ended up needing to design Ben Franklin with Alaina for a class project. There's always something to do!} 

To start, you'll need a few supplies:
wire coat hanger
wire cutters
gun gun & glue sticks
paper (I'm using a dropcloth)

You'll need to create a holly leaf template. (Search online for a printable one, or just draw one, like I did, onto a folded piece of paper.) Cut out leaves from paper, I used about 40 leaves total for my wreath.
Use a pair of wire cutters to cut the top part of the hanger off. Carefully bend the wire into a circle and use pliers to twist the end pieces together. 

Start to glue the leaves on to the wire. Add a leaf to the back of the wire, add glue and then place a leaf over the wire and on top of the first leaf. You'll want to cover the wire completely with paper leaves.

Once you've finished gluing the leaves onto the hanger, let the glue dry completely and then you can remove all of the glue strings. (I love using hot glue, but really dislike all those glue spider web strings that end up being left over!) Create a bow using string or ribbon to hang up and your paper wreath is complete!  

I have another gift wrap idea to do with the same holly leaves, and then I want to do something with snow globes! Everyone loves snow-globes this time of year! 

xo  ~ tara

Dec 11, 2013

diy ideas: holly leaf garland

Holly leaves, like snowflakes, are one of my favorite holiday embellishments to use! I've created a few quick diy projects that make the most of these little paper leaves! Here's my simple how to: on making a holly garland that you can use for decor or even giftwrapping!  

 First to get started, you'll need to create a template of a holly leaf by either going on line and finding one or by creating one by freehand.  Last week I needed to get some painting done and Chase and I made a quick run over to Home Depot to pick up a few supplies when I came across this kraft like paper. It's called Eco Drop, it's actually a paper dropcloth for painting but it's comparable to a thin kraft paper. Plus it's eco friendly and recyclable - the best of both worlds! I paid about $4.00 for 216 square feet. I'm also planning on using it to wrap presents this year, just dressed up a bit with bows and other pretty embellishments!

You'll also need; a glue gun, glue sticks, some craft or floral wire (mine was really thin and easy to bend) and cut holly leaves. Start by spreading out newspaper under your glue gun, to keep your work space safe, and letting the glue gun heat up. Stretch out the wire and lay out flat. Place a paper leaf under the wire, add a bit of glue and sandwich another leaf on top. I left about an inch space in between each leaf. Continue gluing leaves to the entire length of the wire. 

Once you finish gluing the leaves on, you can hang your wired garland up as a holiday decoration or use it as part of you gift wrap decor! Here's how I used it to wrap up a simple gift card!

 I stared with a little teal box, a gift card, glittered pine cone, holly garland, a small typed tag and some string or a clothespin. Tuck the giftcard into the box, wrap the garland around the box, snipping off the extra and twisting the wire together to hold in place. I used a clothes pin to hold the gift tag and pinecone in place, just clip to the wire garland - you could also use the string to tie everything together. 

It's a pretty presentation for a small gift! I have another 2 projects using the same leaves that I'll post a little later today. I'm off to get some Etsy stuff done this afternoon and then back to crafting! Enjoy your Wednesday! 

xo ~ Tara

Dec 5, 2013

diy ideas: Holiday Gift Tags

It's easy, with all the hustle & bustle going on around us, to forget about the little details of the holiday. Things like gift tags! You wrap a gift, make it as pretty as possible and then remember that you don't have a gift tag to attach! Here are 6 simple gift tags that you can probably make with just the random craft items sitting on your desk right now! 

I'm doing a natural/gold/silver decor this year for Christmas and I made my gift tags to match. I'm also forgoing the traditional wrapping paper in favor of recycle-friendly newspaper! But I think I will make a set of these in bright reds & pinks though. (I bet they would even photograph better than these too!)

gift tags DIY

* use a paper punch to punch out a snowflake on a gift tag, glue scrapbook paper onto the back of the tag (I used a glitter paper)
* hand sew a glittered floral stem (they have lots to choose from in craft stores right now!)
* sew a punched snowflake onto a gift tag
* sew leftover chipboard letters, the first letter of each persons name onto a tag
* cut out 3 circles from felt, sew them from large up to small for a quick snowman tag
* sew pieces of fabric starting with longer pieces on the bottom up to smaller pieces on top for a fabric tree

{{DIY ideas is going to be a little mini-series this month. I have a few more post ideas that are Holiday theme-ish. Hope you enjoy them! xo ~ Tara}}

Dec 1, 2013

Hello December!

I have a clove and chestnut candle burning, The Holiday playing on tv and the living room is lit with the soft light of a glowing white Christmas tree. Let the season begin! 

We all got up this morning and made our way out to the flea market. While we were wandering up and down the isles, I was busy making a mental list of all the things I want to be sure and make time for this month. So, here's my list! (so far) 

10 simple things to-do this month with kids

- spend one night making cookies together, pull out all of the sprinkles, frosting, icings and let them be creative

- on a weekend afternoon plan to make an ornament (or a few) together, or include some of their friends/neighbors

- get bundled up and go out looking at Christmas lights 

- if you're out and about shopping, take a break at a cafe for hot chocolate

- have a Friday night movie night, wear pjs, set out blankets, make popcorn and watch a holiday movie as a family

- let them make their own thankyou cards ~ set out scrapbooking paper, glue sticks, stickers, markers, scissors and blank cards

- while you have out the scrapbooking supplies, use a paper punch to make gift tags and let the kids decorate their own gift tags

- start a 'boxing day' tradition, use a large box and encourage them to give away toys/clothes that they've outgrown

- on the first night of their winter vacation let them choose the menu for dinner

-  play the "Mystery Holiday Words" game. Think of a holiday word, then give out 3 clues to what your word is. (We play this game alot while driving & running errands) It's fun and passes the time by quickly! 

I've been creating a list of tutorials I want to do this month but first, I need to get this house decorated. We've decided on a silver and gold theme for the house and the kids' tree will be a red & pink candy/dessert tree this year. So many fun things to do this season! 

Goodnight and Happy December 1st!