Category Archives: Holidays

Fast Craft Holidays – Cardboard Christmas Trees

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Looking for a clever and fast way to recycle cardboard boxes? Why not make a forest of Christmas trees. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Using an X-Acto knife, ruler and cutting board, cut out a triangle.
  2. Use the triangle you cut as a pattern to cut out a second shape.
  3. Then cut the second triangle in half.
  4. Hot glue the two halves to either side of the whole triangle and you’ve got a tree.
  5. This step is optional but you can hot glue your trees onto tiny wooden blocks. I found these at AC Moore arts and crafts store.
  6. Done!

These recycled beauties look even better painted or use them as gift tags! Write a name on the cardboard and tie it to a package. Perfect!

Happy holidays and happy crafting!

Flannel Shirt Coasters

 

Okay, I hear you…enough with the flannel shirt projects already! I have all of these scraps of old flannel shirts from previous craft projects like this one & this one and honestly, I just can’t help myself.  Stick with me crafters…this project is super easy, and fast.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scraps of flannel from old shirts
  • Blank coasters – I found mine on Etsy and they are made of 100% recycled pulp board paper
  • Waterproof shoe spray
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors

Here’s how ya do it:

  1. Cut a piece of flannel to cover the coaster and set aside.
  2. Spray the coaster with spray adhesive.
  3. Place the flannel over the coaster and press firmly to remove any wrinkles.
  4. With a scissors, cut away the excess fabric from the gift tag.
  5. Finally, spray the flannel side of the coaster with waterproof shoe spray.
  6. Let dry and your done!

Happy crafting and happy holidays!

Mason Jar Vases Wrapped in Book Pages

If you’re in need of a quick gift idea for Mother’s Day, a birthday, or just need a cool hostess gift. Then you’ve come to the right blog. Wrap some old book pages around a mason jar, secure it with twine, add grocery store flowers and you’re done! Mind you, I don’t go around destroying books, however, the pages I used were from an out-of-date encyclopedia that I annihilated when I was a child. Naughty, naughty.

Happy Mother’s Day, happy Sunday, AND happy day-after-your birthday Andrew!

Unique Gift Idea for Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 13th is Mother’s Day and I’d like to share a quick and fun gift idea for all those special mommies out there…you know who you are!

Why not buy some unique perennials, wrap them in craft paper and satin ribbon…add a craft paper flower and voila’! You’ve created a special gift that can be enjoyed year after year. The perennials I’m giving to the special moms in my life are Hens & Chicks, Creeping Wirevine and Scotch Moss. I really love the textures and color variations of these beauties.

Here’s the paper flower recipe. Really, it couldn’t be easier.

  1. Draw a spiral on a 4″ X 4″ piece of craft paper (or paper of choice). Don’t worry if the spiral is a little wonky like mine…just don’t stare at it too long.
  2. Now cut along the wonky line and cut the spiral from the square.
  3. Then start rolling the spiral from the outside until the whole spiral is shaped into a flower.
  4. Use a bit of hot glue on the last piece of the spiral and place it on a twig or piece of wire.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tiny Flowers In Egg Shells

My friend Heidi makes wonderful creations using egg shells.  I was inspired by her work so I thought I’d give it a whirl too.

  1. Crack a few eggs and bake a cake or make an omelet.
  2. Clean your egg shells.
  3. Purchase tiny florals…tiny enough to fit into an egg shell.  In mine are miniature Kalanchoe.
  4. Remove the floral from its container and if necessary, remove any excess soil.
  5. Insert into egg shell.
  6. Your done!

So simple yet perfect.

Happy crafting and Happy Easter!

Unique Holiday Flowers…grocery store style

How’bout a quick and simple holiday flower arrangement how-to?  Okay.

  1. Go to grocery store.
  2. Avoid crabby grocery folk.
  3. Pick up flowers of choice.  I chose roses; hypericum berries; hydrangea; gerber daises; alstroemeria; and asian pears.
  4. A round vase (okay vase people why the need for so many sticky labels…enough already!)

Place four rows of rubber bands around your vase.  Stick with me folks.

Now, using small sprigs of pines (I chose arborvitae) insert the sprigs under the bottom row of rubber bands.

Continue inserting the sprigs of pines around the vase then start on the next row, and the next until…

To conceal the rubber band at the bottom of the vase, I added a couple rows of twine.  Okay, you’re almost done.  Add some water, your flowers and you’ve got one unique holiday centerpiece!  The asian pears were added last by inserting food-grade skewers into the pears then I placed the pears into the arrangement.

Happy Sunday and Happy Holidays!

Pines in Ties … or something like that

I took a long hard look at my ties and the thought that comes to mind is, ‘what was I thinking!’  Kinda like those black platform shoes and elephant leg bell-bottoms I wore in High School.

'That's hot.'

Where is this going?  I know, I know…I’ll make this short.  Alas those long-forgotten ties have been dissected, cut and sewn into the perfect wrapping for some miniature spruces.  They look better on them than they ever did around my scrawny neck!

Bye ‘fir’ now!

Now to figure out what to do with those shoes…….ideas anyone?

The Night Before Christmas

Nestled in the tiny village of Emmaus, Pennsylvania is a charming store called Cottage.  The owners of this shopping treasure, Emma and Heidi, asked if I would design their 2011 holiday windows.  You see, there was a local window decorating contest and the theme was, as you guessed, The Night Before Christmas.  How could I resist the challenge!  The winner receives free ad space in a local publication and a plaque.

Armed with my sketch pad, white paint, glue, props, eco friendly artificial snow, and tons of glitter I set my mind to the task hand.  My kitchen served as the workshop for the creation and well … my house now looks like Katy Perry spent the night.

Last night at 5:00 pm sharp in the center square of Emmaus, with the village Christmas tree towering over us, the winner was announced.  COTTAGE WON!  Hey, it’s a small victory but appreciated nonetheless.

Here are a few pictures of the windows.  Enjoy, Happy Holidays and don’t forget to do your holiday shopping at Cottage!

PS:  On Saturday December 10th from 10 AM to 12 Noon, I will hold my very first trunk show at Cottage featuring my holiday collection of home decor and gifts. Please stop by!

Photos by Andrew Vollo

Twig Christmas Trees

Photographs by Christa Neu

Hi y’all!  We just returned from a super trip down south to visit Andrew’s dear aunt Cheryl.  Needless to say we had a BLAST and loved every blessed second we spent with her (and the beach of course).

While we were away I was cooking up new creative ideas for the holidays.  However, before we traveled south, I concocted a Twiggy Christmas Tree.  Here in the northeast, we’ve been having the strangest weather; hurricanes, tons of rain and how could we forget ‘Snowtober’!  As a result, Mother Nature provided some beautiful craft materials in the way of limbs, limbs, and more limbs!

So, let’s get twiggy with it.  You’ll need:

  • A natural disaster
  • Twigs
  • A base for your tree (I used a Birch limb)
  • 16 gauge floral stem wire
  • Drill & drill bits
  • Hand pruner and a sharp saw
  • Wire snips
  • Wood glue
  • Moss (optional)
  1. Cut the limbs in various lengths so you can layer them to create the tree’s shape -think triangle.
  2. Cut the base for the tree.
  3. Using a drill bit to accommodate the 16 gauge floral stem wire, drill a hole in the middle of the twigs.
  4. Drill a hole in the base and insert the floral wire into that hole.  A little dab of glue will keep the wire in place.
  5. Starting with the largest twig, place a dab of glue into the drilled hole and slide the twig onto the wire — repeat with the remaining twigs.
  6. Snip off the excess wire at the top of the tree.
  7. Optional, finish off the base with moss.
  8. Done!

Easy right?  Happy crafting!

Bountiful Thanksgiving Centerpieces

The bountiful Thanksgiving centerpiece adorning your table is equally important as the feast … yea right.  Not in my family as we are all too eager to slap on the feed bag and attack.  Any who, healthy appetites have never stopped me from whipping together a creative and festive arrangement.

Here are some of my floral creations to serve as inspiration as you conjure up the perfect holiday table for family and friends. In addition to using flowers, forage around your yard, local florist and grocery store for different textures, like leaves, seed pods, fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs.  And, use different and unexpected vessels to display your masterpiece.

Oh, and one more thing … check out my video on how to make a quick and easy Thanksgiving centerpiece using grocery store materials.

Have fun, go crazy and Happy Thanksgiving!