christmas decoration tutorial

TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014

I’ve been looking at a LOT of Pinterest images in the last few days – there are some very pretty things out there!

Specifically I’ve been hunting for things to hang around the house instead of on a Christmas tree since we probably won’t have a live one this year.

I LOVE the smell of pine trees – it reminds me of childhood Christmases and really brings the season into the house like nothing else. I might put a few sprigs around to do the job, but our house is way too crowded with stuff to manage an actual tree. In fact, I’m not sure we have wall space enough to trace a tree on the wall or hang anything at all. Really, I should declutter. After Christmas maybe…

Christmas tree 2008- Jane Schouten - atlitwIngrid Jansen tree 2012 via atlitw

I’ve seen some wonderful alternatives to Christmas trees. The two above come via the photostream of Jane Schouten (of All the Luck In the World). Thanks Jane for letting me share these images!

The first was made by Jane in 2008, a tree-shaped hanging of  (useless but pretty) objects  to use Jane’s description.

I certainly have a lot of useless but pretty, even useless and quirky, or weird, or where-did-this-come-from objects collected over the years. If I had enough wall space I could have a pretty fabulous tree and feel vindicated for collecting (um hoarding) them all this time.

The second tree, made from salvaged recycled timber is by Ingrid Jansen of woodwoolstool. This particular one was made in 2012, but Ingrid has some similar assemblages in different colour themes available from her Etsy shop – along with some other gorgeous things to drool over…

There are hundreds of non-traditional Christmas trees out there in Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, but I haven’t yet found my tree – the one that’s taking shape in the back of my mind…

In the meantime I am busying myself with making the ornaments and hanging thingies that will eventually be my tree. One such hanging thingie – a tassel really – is featured at the top of the page. It’s made from that shiny plasticized packaging that crackers and biscuits, crisps and chips come in. That stuff is FABULOUS to make sparkly glittery things from. I tried to describe my process over on my occasional blog habertrashery, but I’m not sure I was very clear. So I’m posting here as well with a few pics:

  1. Get your shiny plastic packaging, open it up and cut the stiff seams off – these can be used for making another hanging thing later.
    Christmas2014-bag seam hangy 1 low res
  2. Roll up your piece of packaging longways and then snip it up into strips – about half a centimetre or quarter of an inch wide.Trashy glittery tassel - cutting Making2-Dec2014 copy
  3. Unfold the strips and lay them together in parallel. Using some thread – sparkly is always good – tie the strips securely together about half way along the bunch. Looks like a big glitzy spider or a scrappy bow tie.Making-3 -trashy glittery tassel Dec2014 copy
  4. Fold all the strips down so they are hanging down vertically and use some more thread to tie them together near the first knot – the top of the tassel. Now it looks like a proper tassel – or a shiny person in a big sparkly dress. I’m now finished – TA DA – but you could add some wings by using a wide ribbon instead of thread for that last knot and make an angel.TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014
  5. With the leftover stiff seams of the packaging I tied bows together for another hanging thing. Trashy glittery hangy thing Dec2014
  6. And finally all those left over scraps of packaging and sparkly thread was cut up into DIY glitter for future emergency glitter projects!  Trashy glitter Dec2014 low res

That was a lot of fun to do – but I have a lot more hanging stuff to make before I have my tree finished.

Back soon!

 

 

 

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Chris is a web designer and stay at home Dad of two preschool children. He is the publisher of Themeaparty.com, a site filled with birthday party and entertaining tips, including craft activities for children. Chris lives in the middle of the Prairies in Winnipeg, Canada, and no, he doesn’t play hockey. However, he loves his Tim Horton’s coffee and can whip up a fun party with some string, two paper clips, some stickers and a slice of pizza!

These snowflake patterns would be great to use on lots of different sorts of projects too…

Felt Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Hello, everybody. I’m just getting into fabric crafts, mainly because my eldest daughter, who is in kindergarten, brought home a cute felt candy cane she had made at her winter wonderland party, and asked if we could make something else. As we had just put up the Christmas tree, my wife and I thought of creating something special for the holidays that she can showcase. Christmas Stockings! After all, they delight kids of all ages with the surprises they hold inside.

This craft is certain to please, even before it’s filled with Christmas goodies. Though it’ll be too advanced for younger children (such as ours), we let her trace the stocking and the snowflake tracings. For her own stocking, we let her doodle on the fabric with glitter glue before sewing it together.

Materials:

  • Red felt (12″ X 16″)
  • Green felt, or other contrasting color (12″ X 3″)
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Carbon paper
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Seed beads and bugle beads (white, silver, gold)
  • 12″ piece of ribbon

Two templates to download and print:

Instructions:

  1. Print out the template for the stocking and cut around the lines. You will have two pieces: the main part of the stocking and the top brim.
  2. Pin the pieces of paper onto a double layer of felt (use the red felt for the main part and the green felt for the brim).
  3. With sharp scissors, cut around the paper template. You will have two red stockings and two green brims.
  4. Print out the snowflake patterns and choose which ones you wish to embroider on your stocking. You can choose to make just one snowflake, or you can change the size of your snowflakes.
  5. Using carbon paper, trace the snowflakes onto the felt.
  6. Secure the thread on the reverse side of the felt. Bring the needle to the front, and thread the number of beads you need, to create each small line of your snowflake. Bring the needle to the back and then, bring it back to the front at the point where your next small line is. Continue this way until you have decorated your Christmas Stocking.
  7. Glue the green brim to the red stocking (both front and back).
  8. If you intend to fill your stocking, then it is best to sew the two pieces together either by hand or using a sewing machine. If you plan to use it just to decorate, you can just glue the front and back together around the edges.
  9. Make a loop with the ribbon and attach it to the top of the stocking where you wish to hang it from.

You’re done! Our daughter decorated a bunch of them her own 5-year old way, so we’re thinking of making several of these in minature as a cute garland for our fireplace.

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