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Let It Snow- cotton ball jar

Happy New Year Everyone!! As we begin celebrating the New Year and for most northern folks, as we begin welcoming in the snow, here is a fun snowy craft to cheer up your home!! It is super cute and SUPER EASY! And it serves a purpose: it will hold your cotton balls better than anything else!

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All you need are a few supplies. Some construction paper for the snowman’s nose and eyes, some old socks, some ribbon, and a clear jar with a lid.  I love saving my jars from yankee candles to store stuff like cotton balls, paperclips, and so many other things. You’ll also need glue, scissors and of course, cotton balls!

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Cut a triangle out of the orange paper of your choice and glue it to the jar. Then cut out small black circles for the eyes and mouth. I suggest using a marker, or something similar, in order to trace your shape. Circles are so hard to draw perfect without an aide. Then glue the eyes and mouth onto the jar.

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Next cut some ribbon and glue it around the bottom of the jar.

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Now (the easiest part) fill the jar with cotton balls.

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Now place the sock over the top of the jar. You can choose to glue the pompom onto the stock directly, or if you plan on wearing your sock again, like me, you can simply make a pocket and tuck the pompom inside so it stays. Voila! A cute snowman to cheer up your home for the winter AND hold your cotton balls!

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Make your own Christmas Garland

Happy Holidays everyone! I don’t know if you like to decorate as much as I do, but I absolutely love it! This year I was trying to get my new apartment in the holiday spirit and I really wanted some garland for over the window. I was finding it difficult to find nice looking garland for the price I wanted to pay and on top of that, I didn’t really want to mess with storing it in our limited space after the holidays. The idea to make my own came to me as I was staring at the unused branches of our Christmas tree that we had to cut off in order for it to sit in the stand.  I thought, you know what, I can make my own garland. I’ll just need some ribbon, some cutters and a few bows and lights. To be honest, I wasn’t sure it would come out, but I was happily surprised. The only currency it cost me was time as I had everything I needed in my house! The process is really simple! Here’s how I did it.

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Literally, all you need for supplies is a few branches from your Christmas tree, a pair of cutters, some ribbon (I used the really cheap kind in green so it would blend in), some lights, and fancier ribbon, if you want.

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And you can see, the tree still looks normal.

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Start by cutting the big branches into littler ones depending on how thick you want your garland to be. Then begin placing the thickest, strongest part of the small limb over another limb. Tie them together using your green ribbon. Keep the ribbon long, as you will need it later to hold the lights in place.

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Continue this process until it is as long as you need it to be.

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Now add your lights. I suggest planning ahead as to which side of your window you will be plugging the lights in. That way you know which direction to start your lights. I just wound them around trying to fill in all the gaps. I found it useful to use the same ribbon holding the branches together to tie the lights into place as well. I would make sure to be generous with the lights in the beginning. I found the end of my garland has a lot more lights than the beginning.

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Now it’s time to add decorative bows if you would like. I used red satin ribbon and a twisty tie from a box of plastic baggies. This makes assembly super easy. Just ties your bow to the length and shape you want. Slip the twist tie through the knot of the bow in the back. And simply twist tie it into place on a thicker part of a branch.

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And voila! You have pretty garland! (Make sure to trim down any remaining long pieces of green ribbon.)

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Now you just need to hang it on your window, or wherever you want it to go. I hung mine by using the green ribbon to tie it securely to nails. That way it will stay in place.

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I hope you have a happy holiday!!!

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Thanksgiving Place Cards

Hi Everyone!

You’ll have to forgive my hiatus! I can’t believe I didn’t squeeze in a Halloween craft! I had it all ready, but I just wasn’t able to fit it in. I did, however, have no trouble eating all of the left over Halloween candy in record time. You know it’s gotten bad when you crave a candy bar after every meal. But anyway, with Thanksgiving just around the corner I didn’t want to miss a second holiday crafting opportunity. This year is my first year to host Thanksgiving at my house, so I wanted to do something extra special to both dress the table and help everyone find their seat. And of course, I wanted to do this craftily and cheaply! So here is a fun idea that is sure to impress! And I promise, it is super easy and also super cheap!

Supplies: All you need are leaves from your yard or street, glue, a sharpie or pen, and some ribbon (and be sure to have nail polish on hand if you are working with a ribbon that easily frays). I suggest storing your leaves underneath a heavy object to keep them flat. I tend to use the dictionary because it is huge and heavy.

Once you select your leave combinations, just glue them together.

Tie a small bow and glue it to your leaves and write your guests name somewhere on the leaves.

Let the leaves dry and viola! you are finished! I suggest keeping them stored under a heavy object until Turkey Day that way you are sure the edges won’t curl. But, like I said, easy, affordable, and pretty.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!

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Slithering Door Jamb

Hi Everyone,

This craft was born as a creative solution to a problem (one of the best reasons to craft!). Our apartment door has quite a gap between it and the floor. So much so that I felt we were the reason our hallway was such a good temperature. I looked everywhere to find what I remember my grandmother having-a long cloth tube filled with beans which could be used to block a drafty door. I couldn’t find anything like it and I didn’t want to buy a standard door jamb, so I looked around my apartment for materials that might work. What I discovered is two large t-shirts and a soccer sock is all you need!! If you want to get even more creative with it, then add some buttons and some string! 

 

 

The above picture shows the gap I had at the front door.

So grab your supplies. It’s probably best to choose to old extra large t-shirts, so your husband doesn’t begin to wonder what has happened to his wardrobe.

 

Then fold the shirts so they can be easily rolled.

 

Then stuff the rolled shirts into the sock.

Then voila! Door jam complete!

 

 

And if you want to take it the next step and make it into an actual friendly snake, then grab those buttons and a few other craft supplies and decorate away!

 

 

You can really make any animal! The fun part is it works! I am pretty confident we are saving money on our electric bill thanks to this little guy and we are guaranteed to have less little critter visitors with this guy guarding the door!

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Button Bouquet

Hi Everyone!

I’m sorry for the hiatus! Not only did I recently start a new job, but my husband and I moved to a new apartment. So my crafting supplies were tightly packed away and we decided that digging out the silverware and underwear was probably the right choice to unpack first.  But I am back now with a fun family craft to use up some of those spare buttons I’m sure you have lying around. We all do it. We save the buttons that come with our clothes just in case something happens and we need to replace. However, in the end we are left with containers of buttons taking up space…and when we do need a button, we can almost never find the right one. But what better crafting tool is there than buttons? Buttons are great! And here is a fun way to turn them into flowers. All you need is some paper, scissors, buttons, pipe cleaners, and either some glue or a needle and thread.

 

So grab your supplies!

 

Now choose the button you would like to use for your flower. Select your paper accordingly and then draw your flower shape to cut out on the back. I suggest tracing the button so you know what size to make your flower. I also suggest using the items around you to help.

 

 

Cut out your flower and use the cut-out to help with your secondary color.

 

Cut out your second flower and now it’s time to assemble. If you are using glue, then just glue everything together. If you want to sew everything together, than get your needle and threat ready to go!

 

 

Attach the pipe-cleaner stem (or whatever else you would like to use) either with glue or your thread and needle. (Word of caution: if you use pipe-cleaners, the larger your flower, the heavier it will be and you might need more than one pipe-cleaner to support the weight).

 

Now you just need to make more so you’ll have a pretty bouquet!! Happy crafting!

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Buzz-worthy Spring Craft

Now that the bugs are back, I thought it would be fun to make a cute little bumblebee out of a toilet paper tube. (since my March leprechaun came out so cute, I felt inspired!) This is a very cute and fun craft and can easily be done with kids. With my adult self, it took about 30 minutes in total and only requires the basic supplies. Here’s how your little bee might look!

The supplies are simple. Construction paper in yellow, black, and white, some scissors, a toilet paper tube, some tape and a pen. Simple!

Take the yellow paper and wrap it around the toilet paper tube, taping it securely. Then cut out three black strips for the stripes.

Tape your black strips onto the tube and make sure you are taping everything in the back so it doesn’t look messy. Then lay the striped tube on the white paper and draw some wings on one side.

To make the wings symmetrical, fold the white paper in half and cut out the wings, leaving space near the fold to attach it to the tube.

Attach your wings and draw a face on the remaining scrap piece of white paper. I suggest using something around the house to trace your circle (but then I am terrible at drawing circles!) Pen in your face and then color it if you would like the face to be different color other than white.

Cut out your face and attach it to your bee body. Then cut out some antennae and attach…viola! A cute buzzy little bee! Only this one won’t sting you!

Happy Crafting!!!

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Cake Plate Magic

So my husband’s birthday was yesterday and I was baking his cake in our sublet studio apartment. Just as I was taking the cake out of the oven, I realized I had nothing to put the cake on when I finished it! None of our plates were large enough and I didn’t want to go buy something when I know I have a cake plate in our storage unit. I was on the phone with my mom at the time (she is the true craft genius) and she suggested I make my own using an old cardboard box. PERFECT! That way I can decorate it to fit the occasion and then recycle my lovely new plate without it taking up additional room. (Now this isn’t my best work, as I had a cake just out of the oven demanding decoration, so I worked fast). But this is a great idea to theme up any special occasion.

All you need are a box, some scissors, glue or tape, construction paper, a marker and some plastic wrap. Viola! So take your box can cut out a smooth square.

Measure the size of your cake plate on your new square of cardboard (or trace the cake plate, I would’ve done that if mine wasn’t scalding) and trim it down to fit the cake better. (This way it can also fit in the fridge and isn’t ridiculously huge.)

Now that you know where your cake is going to be, decorate away to your hearts desire.

VERY IMPORTANT STEP: Make sure to plastic wrap your finished decorated “plate” and tape it down snugly on the back.

Now, just decorate your cake and your good to go! Think of how many fun new “plates” you can make to match every special celebration! …and now it’s time to eat!

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Windy Day Windmill

It’s been so windy in Philadelphia lately that I thought it would be fun to make  “windy day windmills.” I remember when my sister and I were younger we would sit in the back of my Dad’s old red Triumph and hold our windmills to the breeze on warm sunny days.  With the following easy directions you can now make your own little windmills to bring you and your family some warm, windy weather fun. 

 

I used the following supplies: a chopstick (because who doesn’t have those lying around from the various take-out/delivery restaurants?), 3 different colored papers, glue, scissors, a ruler, a paperclip, and a pushpin.

Choose two colors and cut out two 6 inch squares. Then glue them together.

Then take your ruler and draw a light line diagonally across your square in both directions.

On each line, measure 2 and 3/4 inches from each corner and mark with a dot. Cut up to the dots and erase the pencil lines.

Gently fold every other point into the center of the square and glue the points together.

Now cut out a small circle from the third color of paper. Take your paperclip and straighten it out and make a coil on one end. Glue the coil to the center of the circle.

Using the paperclip (or something sharper, like a pushpin) gently push through the center of the windmill. Then make a small puncture through the chopstick and run the paperclip through the holes. Because the chopstick is bound to split a little bit, I took the end of the paper clip and wrapped it around the chopstick to hold it together. Then take a small piece of cork or tape to protect the end of the paperclip so it isn’t sharp.

Now you have your very own paper windmill!

 

 

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Toilet Tube Wall Art

Hi Everyone!

If you’re like me, you’ve recently started saving all of your toilet paper tubes for all of their crafty potential. Well, now let’s use a bunch of them! My walls in my new temporary place are incredibly bare, but I didn’t want to spend the money to decorate them. So I spent some time playing around with my craft supplies and doing some research and discovered a fun way to use the recycled tubes AND decorate my empty walls! Win-Win! Toilet Paper Tube Art!

It’s simple and only requires a few supplies and your creativity. (It is also a family friendly activity provided an adult uses the scissors to cut the tubes.)

Take a toilet paper tube and cut it into equal slices. I tend to get seven slices out of each of my tubes, but depending on how thick you would like them, you may get more or less. I just eyeball their size, but you can measure if you want it to be perfect. So one tube will look like this:

Then cut up lots of tubes. The more you cut, the bigger your piece will be.

Now for the fun part. Create a fun pattern using your tube slices. Just make sure each piece is touching at least one other piece. I chose to stick with a spring flower theme.

If you want to add some color, I suggest doing it now. I used acrylic paint to just coat the top edge of each piece. If you want a lot more color, I would use pray paint or at least paint the entire slice. As you can see my color doesn’t show up as much. Keeping them brown is nice too, so it’s totally up to you!

Now glue them together. (You can also stitch, tape, paperclip, whatever way you want to stick them together can work)

Let it dry, if it needs to, and then your art is ready for display!!

I hope this brings lots of fun for you and your family and also helps to bring some happiness to your walls!

 

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Good Things Come in Small Packages!

Have something small to give to someone you care about? Well, here is an easy and inexpensive way to give them your little present: a small handmade “gift bag” made out of paper. ANY kind of paper will work! Below I will make 2 gift bags, one out of card stock and the other out of newspaper. Everyone knows its fun to wrap a gift in the funny section of the newspaper, but why not also make a gift bag out of it?

The steps are so easy and all you need are your hands, some scissors, and a ribbon (or string, or pipe-cleaner…anything that can tie). Really, I’m not joking, that’s it. =)

All you need to do now is fold the paper. First fold it into thirds.

Then you will fold each end up to about 1.5″ off the top. You can measure if you want it to be perfect, but I like to eye-ball it and even it out later.

Here’s what it will look like when you’ve folded both ends.

Now unfold everything and re-fold again to make sure everything is really well creased.

Ok, now it gets just a tiny bit complicated. (or at least it becomes more complicated to explain it in text) In looking at the folds in the above picture, you can kind of see three big squares in the top row. You will take the left edge of middle square and line it up with the bottom edge of the left square. You will crease the excess so it lays flat and allows both edges to be completely flush against one another. (as shown below)

You will continue to fold each side into each other making sure all sides of this little box are flush.  When you finish, you can see your little gift bag coming together. To give it that little pucker, pinch the sides a little near the top.

Now cut off the top of your gift bag to even everything up. If you have fun craft scissors with waves or jagged edges, use those for a fancier finish. Otherwise just even it out or make a pattern of your own. (Depending on the thickness of the paper, making your own shape will either be easy or hard). Now, punch 2 holes in the top of your bag or, if you’re like me and don’t have a hole punch handy, just use your scissors to slowly make a hole all the way through the bag. Then stick your ribbon or fastening device through the bag (like below) and fasten. I used a ribbon/twist tie that was attached to an Easter candy package. Make sure you remember to put your gift in the bag before it’s fastened closed!

And viola! The cutest little gift bag is ready to be given to someone special.

As I mentioned, I made 2 gift bags…one out of newspaper. Take your newspaper as you would any paper, and follow the same steps as above.

Make your folds and start turning the paper into a gift bag!

I hope this little craft helps you save money and adds a little fun to your gift wrapping needs. I think that this homemade touch will add to any gift. =)

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