Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Display your Christmas Cards!


Shipping Pallet Card Holder

Last year I saw a picture of a Christmas card display out of a shipping pallet. I haven’t been able to find that pictures since then. For some reason I didn’t pin the picture when I first saw it.

No matter, I found a few other shipping pallet crafts, including Christmas trees from pallets, and was able to use those as inspiration for my own card holder.

The first trick was obtaining a shipping pallet. There are several places on the web enumerating ways to get free pallets, but fortunately, I had an “in” with a landscaper who regularly discards old pallets.

I cut the pallet in the shape of a Christmas tree, then spray painted it green. One issue I had (and would need to solve if I was making it for anyone else) was the stray nails that were poking out here and there. I pounded them into the wood as much as I could, but wouldn’t feel good about giving it to anyone else that way.

Next I cut out a variety of words from heavy paper using my Cricut. Using those as stencils, I painted them on the dried Christmas-tree-shaped pallet. I alternated the color of each word to make them stand out more. Then I added a star.

Finally, to make it into a card display, I added tiny clothespins.

Here’s my display holder before anyone had sent any cards and at the end of the season last year:
Shipping Pallet Card HolderShipping Pallet Card Holder

A second problem I need to fix is that the pallet didn’t stand terribly well on its own – I ended up leaning it against the wall. I could either add more to the bottom of the stand, or add a hanger to stabilize it on a wall.

Valentine’s Day Wreath


I wanted to cheer up my workplace a little for Valentine’s Day, so I looked up some wreath ideas. What I found, was this wreath from She’s Kinda Crafty.

The wreath is very easy to make and doesn’t require many supplies, but takes quite a bit of patience. I used a foam wreath form, two spools of wide ribbon (1″ or more) ribbon to wrap around the foam form (so they aren’t really seen), 10 spools of various ribbon for all the loops, and a slew of straight pins.

Step one is to wrap the wide ribbon around the wreath form. I used straight pins to hold it down.

Next, cut the 10 spools of ribbon into 4.5-inch strips.

Then sew those strips into loops. This is kind of fun, because to save time, you don’t cut the thread between each loop, but just continuously thread in loop after loop. In the end you have one long string of loops.

I had a big pile of loops.

2012-01-29 18.20.56

Next, cut the thread between each of the loops to separate them.

Finally, start pinning them on the wreath.

That’s it!

Here’s my final wreath, which is now hanging on my office door. I get a lot of compliments on it, and one coworker even threatened to steal it.

2012-01-29 21.55.54

2012-01-29 21.54.41

Ornament Exchange


A while ago, I participated in an online handmade ornament exchange for a few years in a row. For these exchanges, each participant was assigned a group of 8-10 other participants. We each made enough ornaments for the others in our group, sent them out and waited for our 8-10 ornaments to arrive from the other group members.

The first year I participated, almost all of the ornaments I received were great – I loved them, and, in fact, still hang many of them on my tree. Second year, about half of the ornaments were great, and they still hang on my tree each year. Third year? Only a couple were worth keeping. The last straw was the ornament that consisted of a piece of white felt, cut in the shape of a candy cane with a few red stripes of puff paint. These are the ornaments *I* sent those years:
Swap ornaments Blanket Bear Ornaments Cookie cutter ornament

I couldn’t really say that the felt-candy-cane person didn’t fall the rules of the exchange — the only real rule was that it had to be homemade. I quit after that.

This year, I decided to gather a few of my crafty friends and do our own ornament exchange. I knew they wouldn’t phone it in. And I was right!

Here are a couple of the ornaments I made this year:

(I was inspired for these ornaments by Mamie Jane; Pinerest link.)

Then I started getting ornaments from my friends, and they were wonderful! Here are all this year’s exchange ornaments on the tree:

I made a couple of extra ornaments – they are all one-of-a-kind. Want one? Let me know the favorite ornament on your tree right now. Comment by Saturday, Dec 15 at midnight EST. I’ll announce a winner on Sunday.

Update We have a winner! Congrats to Jenny who wrote:

Fun! My favorite is a super-old one we had on our tree when I was a kid (and probably when my mom was a kid too)…It’s a (real) eggshell with the front cut off and a little angel inside.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Handmade Halloween


Halloween is my favorite holiday…with Christmas a close second. Needless to say, I love Halloween crafting as well. One of my favorites is a “Spooky Countdown” that I made a couple years ago. I still hang it every year and use it do count down the days to Halloween.

I started with a plain jelly roll pan – it’s in important to have a pan with a small depth, because the countdown magnets are kept on the back of the pan. This is convenient not only for the month of October during the countdown, but for storage during the year.

I covered the back of the pan with strips of Halloween-themed papers and then cut the numbers 1-31 out using my Cricut. I laid the numbers out in a grid along with the words “Spooky countdown” and “Halloween”. I used my Crop A Dile to punch holes to tie a wire-rimmed ribbon for hanging the countdown.

Next was the fun part – I cut out 31 squares of different colors then decorated each with Halloween cut-outs, chipboard, brads, buttons and stickers. On the back of each I hot-glued on a small magnet.

It’s so fun to watch the calendar fill up as Halloween grows closer and closer!

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