Saturday, December 24, 2011

{12th day of christmas: origami tree}

Happy Christmas Eve! I'm posting on a Saturday to round out our 12 Days of Christmas Crafts, but also because I'm going to take a little time off from blogging next week. I'll be back to welcome 2012 on January 2!

I have a special treat (and a challenge!) for our final day of Christmas crafts... an origami tree! But not just any origami tree. One that has a 30 minute instructional video. Yeah. It's that awesome.

Actually, having watched the video in its entirety, it doesn't seem that un-craftable. I mean, yes, there are a lot of little folds, and making several tiers of trees is tedious... but how awesome does this origami masterpiece look in the end? Answer: really awesome. And totally worth it.

So, I challenge you: those who have created these crafts with me since the first day of Christmas: can you fold your own origami tree?

{origami christmas tree}

photo via {happy folding}

See the video instructions {HERE}.

And, in the meantime, admire these stunning creations:

photo via {f.guarnieri}

photo via {origami kawakami}

photo via {tomahi}

photo via {araddia}

Merry Christmas, everyone!! Have a great week, and I will see you again in the New Year. :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

{11th day of christmas: christmas luminaries}

I love Christmas lights; they're so delightful. My favorite part of the holidays is driving around town at night listening to Christmas music and oooo-ing and aahhh-ing over the beautiful neighborhood light displays. It really puts one in a jolly holiday spirit, doesn't it?

I have been known (when I lived with roomies in college) to keep indoor Christmas lights up all year round. When it's not Christmas, it just becomes a festive decor piece in your living room... totally acceptable.

Today's project is a clever way to dress up your Christmas lights so they make a statement for any season! This technique comes directly from one of my favorite blogs, {wit and whistle} and is a simple, yet delightful diy project.

{christmas luminaries}

Remember those paper balloons you used to make as a kid? Maybe this was just a midwest thing, because I must have made hundreds of them in middle school, but when I asked Tanner about it, he gave me that what planet did you grow up on? look and said he had never done such a crazy thing.

If you were one of those unfortunate children who missed out on the paper balloon phase of life, here's how to create them:

Photo via {wit and whistle}

Once you have your balloons folded and blown up, use the small hole at the top of each to insert them into each christmas light bulb. You can make as many or as few as you like, and experiment with white or colored lights, too!

If there's anything I like more than gazing at Christmas lights, it's taking pictures of Christmas lights! I love low-light shots, and those tiny specks of white in vast amounts of darkness kick my shutter-bug tendencies into full gear. :)

(Tune in tomorrow for our special 12th day of Christmas craft!)

Here are more Christmas lighting ideas...

Dixie cups via {hey gorg} Firefly via {hayseed home makin'}
Mason jars via {homedit} Vase via {matt mandy mitch}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

{10th day of christmas: sock snowmen}

Ok, this is definitely my favorite craft I've made all season. First, because they're super easy to make, and second, because they're ADORABLE.

I've been meaning to make some kind of snowman craft since the 1st day of Christmas crafts, but unfortunately I couldn't figure out a good design. So far I've made all my crafts with stuff I've had lying around the house, so my holiday craft cost was close to nothing. Adorable snowmen, however, require blocks of wood or pieces of styrofoam or paint or fabric and time and effort and money.

I was debating between making a snowman out of a wire hanger or rolls of fabric when a thought struck me: socks! Socks are the perfect medium for snowmen!

Sure enough, I found some adorable inspiration from {then she made}, and I set to work.

{sock snowmen}

For this craft, you'll need a pair of old socks that are crew length, or longer. I went through Tanner's bag o' socks in our closet for my set. Don't worry, he'll never miss them -- he owns something like 10,000 pairs of socks, but insists on wearing shorts and flip-flops 365 days a year. Boys...

First, cut off the top of the sock from the foot.

Turn the sock inside out and attach a rubber band tightly to the top of the sock. Then turn the sock right-side out again.

Fill the sock with rice. Make sure to pack it down as you go so the sock gets a nice round base.

Rubber band the top of the sock closed and put another rubber band 3/4 of the way to the top for the head of your snowman.

Now, decorate! Tie a scarf around your snowman's neck and add eyes, nose, and buttons. I used map pins for my eyes. Unfortunately, I didn't have any black ones, so I colored white ones with sharpie and stuck them in.

Use the toe of your cut socks to fashion a stocking cap. Or you could use colored argyle socks to create hats and sweaters for your snowman, as seen at {then she made}.

You can either sew or glue on your buttons, and add embellishments - twine, bows, ribbons, etc - as needed.

This is such a quick and easy craft - 10 minutes tops - that it would be simple to create a whole family of snowmen for your mantle!

Here are more fun diy holiday snowmen!

Wooden blocks via {que linda} Primative via {factory direct craft}
Cookies via {curbly} Hershey wrappers via {dealicious finds}

Monday, December 19, 2011

{9th day of christmas: diy birdseed ornaments}

Now that your tree is decorated in ornaments, garlands, and lights, it's time to make some ornaments for the trees outside your window.

These adorable ornaments are for the birds -- made from birdseed and a special holiday treat to entice those colorful birds to your backyard.

{birdseed ornaments}

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup flour
2 cups birdseed
3 tbsp corn syrup
Cookie cutters or mold

This recipe calls for a simple mix of birdseed that you can pick up from a pet store, but I was lazy and didn't feel like running to the store, so I made my own, instead!

My birdseed recipe: a two-cup mix of chopped peanuts, stale bread crumbs, raisins, and dried apple bits.

Mix the birdseed, water, flour, and corn syrup together until it forms a paste.

Fill your cookie cutters with the paste, making sure to pack it down tightly. Use a straw or a spoon end to poke a hole through the center of the paste, not too close to the edge of the ornament. (One of mine broke this way)

Let ornament dry overnight, or for several days if your paste is particularly goopy. My bread crumbs turned into a sticky paste, so it took about three days for everything to dry out properly. Make sure you're flipping your ornament frequently to allow it to dry on both sides.

At this point, when the ornaments had been sitting out for a while, Tanner noticed them on the counter and cried, "OOOO cookies!" then studied them for a second in confusion, and asked, "....granola cookies?" Haha, nice try, babe.

Push the birdseed mold out of the cookie cutter and allow edges to dry.

Tie string through the hole and hang in a tree for the birds to enjoy!

(Note: is it just me, or do you find it funny that I refused to purchase a set of cookie cutters for my Christmas cookies, but now that I'm making birdseed ornaments, it suddenly becomes an essential buy?)

Other ornaments made from "food"!

Cinnamon via {mccormick} Bird seed via {bargain hoot}
Salt dough via {katy elliott} Ice cream via {how about orange}
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