Yarn-Wrapped Heart Wreath

Since a lot of people often decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving, I thought it would be timely to share a Christmas wreath idea today.

cmas wreaths, button rings 004

This one is a heart-shaped foam wreath form wrapped with a red yarn and embellished with white felt roses.

cmas wreaths, button rings 005

I also used a little green felt to make leaves for the roses. A green with red grosgrain ribbon was used as the hanger.

cmas wreaths, button rings 001

Very simple and not a lot of bells and whistles, but sometimes simplest is best.

While I have made my share of yarn-wrapped wreaths, doing a heart shape was new for me. The result is pretty, but I have to admit that wrapping it was much more awkward than doing a basic circle wreath, especially when it comes to the center point areas. It definitely took a lot of yarn to make sure those areas were well covered.

Actually, if you just switch out the ribbon, this would make a great Valentine’s Day wreath as well!

If you want to check out my Christmas wreaths from previous years, here are the links:

book wreaths, jars 025

Book Page wreath, this one made out of old sheet music.

yarn wreath 010

A Yuletide Yarn Wreath

red wreath 004

Red Hot Wreath, wrapped in vintage fabric.

Can you tell I love making wreaths? Oh yes I do.

Hope you count your blessings tomorrow and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Handmade Christmas 2013: Scrabble Names Wall Art

This next gift idea is one I whipped up for a friend…so don’t tell her I made it.

It’ll be a secret.

Not really.

I think she reads my blog at least semi-often, so I know she’s going to see it soon enough.

Oh well. We were never too good at surprising one another anyhow.

scrabble board, music ornament 001

Take a peek. It’s all the names in her family spelled out in scrabble tiles.

scrabble board, music ornament 006

Each name intersects with at least one other. I started with the parents, then did the oldest child, and built from there. The letter tiles I purchased off of Amazon and the burlap board I found at Wal Mart (or you can cover a plain canvas with burlap). Wal Mart had many sizes and shapes, and I believe this one is 10″ by 10″. Each letter is just hot glued onto the burlap.

scrabble board, music ornament 007

One corner of the board looked a little empty, so I placed their last name in that spot by itself.

scrabble board, music ornament 008

All in all, I think this is a neat family gift that is very personalized.

I wouldn’t mind making one for my own family, so I may be doing one in the coming days for us. We’re kind of nerdy, so the Scrabble tiles suit us pretty well:)

Handmade Christmas 2013: Button and Flower Rings

Today’s handmade Christmas gift idea targets all of the little ladies in your life. I know my own daughter was practically swooning over these cutesy rings I slapped together this past week.

cmas wreaths, button rings 041

When I use the phrase “slap together,” I mean that they are so stinking quick to make. Even if you are craft-challenged, these are a breeze to create.

cmas wreaths, button rings 034

What you need: A set of ring blanks (found in jewelry section of craft store under “findings”), Krazy glue (or other jewelry bonding agent), flower cabochons or button cover kit with fabric circles.

To make flower rings: Pick out a flower cabochon and adhere the back of it to the flat circle front of the ring blank. Allow to set and that’s it!

cmas wreaths, button rings 042

To make button rings: Using a button cover kit, use pliers to remove back button shank so that the back portion is completely flat. Put button together with fabric scrap circle. Adhere back of button to front of ring and allow to set.

cmas wreaths, button rings 043

cmas wreaths, button rings 051

cmas wreaths, button rings 044

Fall 2013 in Pictures

I thought it would be kind of fun to show you all some random pictures from my life just this fall. They are in no special order, just some various ones that show a little snippet of my things that I’ve done (well, besides being a Mom, cook, laundress, chauffer, and the list goes on….).

photo (14)

Early this fall I was at a barn sale and discovered this really cool old shelving unit. I had been looking for something similar for the past 2 years as a storage unit for my boys’ room, so I got awfully excited when I found this. It used to be in a store and hold hardware items, because I found screws, hinges, and the like in the cubbyholes when I cleaned it up.

photo (16)

This fall was especially beautiful in my area and I’ve enjoyed many relaxing walks all around where I live. This is just a snapshot of the tops of a cornfield before it got harvested.

photo (17)

I couldn’t help but snap a picture of this little guy with my phone when I encountered him on a walk. Luckily I didn’t stomp on him, because he was maybe a little bigger than a quarter. I decided to be nice and move it off the middle of the road.

photo (13)

We had a Family Reading Night at my kids’ school one evening. One of the stations was a book character dress-up area, which my kids were all into. This is a shot another Mom took of me and my twins.

1382064_10202244365580318_349439047_n

A couple of weeks this September and early October I was very busy getting our school PTO ready for a huge fundraiser (Yes, I am one of “those” Moms who helps run the PTO–don’t judge). We do a Race for Education once a year and our theme this year was all about knights, castles, etc. My dearly devoted husband dressed up as a knight mascot for part of the almost 90 degree day and we had a little picture together. Did I mention how awesome he is for doing this?

Yes he is.

photo (18)

This is a shot from a cub scout campout that we had for our den. This picture shows my brother-in-law cooking up some breakfast on our campfire grill. Buckwheat pancakes and sausage cooked over the fire for breakfast= just plain awesome.

1381944_10202386306808760_688442640_n

I may be in love with this picture of my Josh, holding up an Operation Christmas Child shoebox that he put together. This is one of my hands-down-favorite service projects to do every year and I love how my kids get so into it as well.

photo (15)

To end this post I HAD to include this shot of my oldest, stuck in a tire swing at our local fair. A local business had a swingset set up as a demo model, so of course my gang was playing on it. What possessed my 12 year old to think he could fit on a small tire swing, I had no idea. I was just about busting a gut laughing because he was so wedged in there and snapped a pic before rescuing him. Of course he was mortified and was all like, “Mom, you better not put this on Facebook!” I kept my promise, but he didn’t say anything about my blog:)

So there you have it, my fall in a nutshell–sorta.

Handmade Christmas 2013: Teacup Candles

In continuation of the series I just began several days ago, I have another handmade gift idea for you.

teacup candles, lace earrings 015

No, I realize this isn’t a brand new, original idea to some of you. I think I may have first seen these a couple years ago, but they’ve always been on my “to try” list. I made a few of them yesterday morning and they really didn’t take long to make at all.

teacup candles, lace earrings 022

I picked up some random teacups at Goodwill. Except for the one that came with a saucer, they were all 97 cents a piece. Since I’ve made candles before, I had the rest of the supplies on hand. The basic materials for these are: a teacup, wax, fragrance oil, color (optional), and a wick.

teacup candles, lace earrings 001The wax that I had already was a soy wax that can be melted in the microwave. I like to use a big glass Pyrex measuring cup for this job. (If you are using other waxes, they may need to be melted on a double boiler.) So basically I melt the wax down, heating it in increments of time and stirring it in between until it is a liquid consistency.

teacup candles, lace earrings 002

While the wax is melting I set up my wick and have something to hold it in place. I have these fancy-schmancy holders, but you can use whatever. (Note: I’ve also used No. 2 pencils laid sideways to prop them up, and they worked just fine!) Once the wax is nice and liquid-y, add in your scent and if you have candle coloring, add that in at this time as well. Give it a nice stir so that everything is distributed evenly, then pour into your candle container. Make sure the wick stays in the middle.

teacup candles, lace earrings 014Now you wait until it hardens up, which may take a good hour or so. Once it’s ready trim the wick and you’re all set.

teacup candles, lace earrings 021

Stay tuned for more ideas in the coming weeks! I have a couple that I’m really excited to show you 🙂

Handmade Christmas 2013: Crochet Hair Bows

Today I am starting a little series in preparation for Christmas. Last year I did series of posts with ideas for a handmade Christmas and this year I am doing the same thing with some fresh new ideas for you all.

Whether you have ever been the kind of person to do handmade gifts or not, it’s never too late to try your hand at it. I always appreciate a nice handmade gift, and you know I love giving them! (Like, a,little too much sometimes, but whatever…)

My first idea in this year’s series is pretty cheap to make, and you can make a bunch of them at one time. Plus I think they’re just a little cute to boot. They would be perfect for any little girls in your life as a stocking stuffer or a few different ones packaged together as a gift.

fall 2013 441

Small or large, these bows can be made in a rainbow of colors. I made some with cotton yarn and several with an acrylic yarn. Oh yeah, and I may have forgotten to mention that I did teach myself how to crochet this year! No, I don’t have any mad skills in this department yet, but I am learning. Though I enjoy knitting, I actually think crochet is a little easier since you only have one hook to deal with instead of two needles. If you also have only basic crochet skills, you can totally make these. (And if not, check on You Tube for beginner videos, it really is a snap to learn.)

3 girls bows

I took these pics yesterday when we were babysitting my nieces, so I had 3 pretty little models to show off these bows.

photo (6)

Here’s the process I followed to make these: (I apologize ahead of time as I am no crochet expert and hopefully don’t just confuse you.)

fall 2013 446

Select a crochet hook and yarn. I used a “J” hook for most of my bows and preferred the cotton yarn, which can be bought for around $2 a ball. One ball of yarn would make a ton of these. Make a slip knot and chain stitch about 25, leaving a 2″ tail. You can go smaller than that if you wish, or chain 30-40 if you are going for a bigger bow (like the purple-y twisted yarn one pictured above). Once you get to that number, slip stitch into the first stitch you made to make a circle.

fall 2013 447

Continue around the circle again using whatever stitch you feel like. For some I just did a single crochet several times around, or mixed it up with a double or half-double. Make at least 2-3 rounds, depending on how thick you want the bow to be.

fall 2013 450

Once you’ve gotten in enough rounds, cut off yarn, leaving another tail @6-8″ long. Slide it through that last stitch and pull tight. Now wrap it right around the “middle” of the bow a few times and tie tight with the tail you left hanging at the beginning. Trim and hot glue to a barrette back.

photo (7)

Well, that’s it for now. I have some more ideas up my sleeve to show you in the coming weeks.