So the family christmas card has been handmade by us for over 20 years. Each year we must come up with something a little better and a little different. Yes there are expectations from those that receive them but it is also fun. Sometimes I get an idea, sometimes mum likes bits and pieces she has seen in my cardmaking magazines. Sometimes I need to do two designs as Dad decrees they are a bit cutesy for business use. After quite a bit of playing around test designs were provided to the family for approval. Yes its serious business!
This year I was inspired by this tutorial on making a folded xmas tree from a half circle. Great I though, I can use the cricut to cut the circles. I was also keen to destash particularly brads. I did have to buy some xmas paper with smaller designs but I did economise by choosing a pad which worked for these and our gingerbreads plus the 12 days of xmas tags I still need to make.
Usually I split up the construction tasks between myself and mum but as I am not working and she is, its all me. I have completed 1/4, 1/4 need some stamping, bases are 90% made for the balance of our 120 odd xmas cards. A bit of stamping, colouring and attach our handmade stickers to the back and I will be done. Hope you like them. I am quietly in love with every one.
OK by now the organised amongst us have our trees and christmas decorations up, gifts purchased and wrapped, xmas cards and letters done and hopefully sent. But, what if you have a difficult person to buy for? How about doing the 12 days of xmas – you can make it as inexpensive or elaborate as you wish.
What’s not to love about receiving a present a day for 12 days and it isn’t even christmas yet. I should note, that although I understand that traditionally the 12 days starts on xmas day I’m a big fan of making the 12th day xmas eve so that it doesn’t get lost in the xmas excitement.
There are some truly fabulous websites that give you ideas on what to make, gift tags to print and complete. And, as it is getting closer to xmas you probably find a lot of stuff you need in your pantry, at the supermarket or liquor store. Simply decide whether you will try to match the gift to the verse for that day or do it by quantity e.g. 12 of the same thing for the 12th day and of course, you don’t need to use the traditional verses there are parody’s, an Australian version and others. Get googling and think creatively.
Here are some of my favourite sites:
Or if that all seems too hard, how about buying a xmas jig saw puzzle and posting a few pieces to a relative who’s lives out of town each day. It will keep them amused right up until xmas.
OK so a few years ago we were intrigued by gel candles and made at least 40 shot glass size candles for gifts. Turns out I had left-overs of this as well although only enough wicks (they need to be zinc core) to make 6 candles. Helpfully the gel for the candles was already coloured green and had gold glitter so just a quick refresher how to make, purchase of some shot glasses and done. At 50c a pop – quite happy and once wrapped they look fantastic.
But I also had a hankering to try washi taping some tea lights so I headed off to ikea and bought some vanilla scented ones (none of those boring white ones) along with small (just larger than the tealights) and larger cup like tealight holders. Then I wrapped the tealights in pairs with different colour washi tapes and hey presto 6 more gifts for $12. I used printed xmas lolly bags (left over from last year) to wrap the shot glasses, single wide tealight holders with 3 wrapped tealights and then after a bit of experimenting made 3 boxes to hold 3 small tealight holders and 9 tealights. I hope the recipients will be happy with these little bursts of colour.
P.S. If anyone wants the dimension for the tealight box send me a message and I will post.
My girlfriends step-dad is a weaver who uses a large loom to make various tartans. When I was visiting the other day she asked if I would like some of the cones from the inside of the reels of thread. As a fellow crafter and keen re-purposer of items she had some ideas however I instantly though xmas trees..
Coincidentally I was doing some other craft painting for some projects so set to work straight away. I spray painted some gold, painted some with silver and the balance in green. I then feathered a second green onto the trees to look like branches and painted some tinsel and dots (for baubles). Left picture are some of the base cones untouched and base coated and right are the finished product.
I choose to do a single colour on the textured ones because I think they look fab and even those a little crinkly on the top I left as they were as I think it adds character. I finished them of with a sealing coat of glittery modge podge and this is what I ended up with. 37 trees – some for me and some to be returned to my girlfriend to be given out as xmas presents.
So, as I have not been in paid employment for most of the year I have been reviewing my christmas craft box and found a range of “ends” of production on various christmas projects which I have decided to finish off for gifts this year.
I should explain, every year we make a craft project and make the same thing for a dozen or so of my friends and about 20 of my mum’s staff. We have made ribbon angels, flowerpot santas and angels, eye pillows, placemats and cotton reel elves to name a few. Cotton reel elves are one of my favourites there is something so cute about their lanky limbs, cheery santa hats (with bells) and cute smile. They are simple to make, one cotton reel, one large bead (about the same diameter as the top of the reel), a small felt santa hat (a 3/4 circle sewn up), googley eyes, beads and leather or suede thong (about 50cm per elf).
This year I have worked out a trick to make the elves stand up a little better. Cut around 20cm of thong, knot one end and then add 2 pony beads (arms). Knot the other end. Cut 30cm thong, fold in half and tie around the middle of the arms making sure you have one bead on each side (these will make the legs). Thread the thong for the legs through the hole in the cotton reel and then tie a pony bead on each side and knot. This way you won’t need to add any glue to the botton to hold the legs in place (they do have a tendency to drop off after a few years if you do). For the head, glue around the inside of the santa hat and put on the large bead. Add your eyes and draw on the mouth with a permanent pen then glue to the top and you have a rather cute little elf (see pic above).
I have been sporadic of late with posts but I will try to post my new xmas projects every couple of days until I have finished them all!