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Christmas Ideas - L

Posted on December 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (2)

L is for


Lights and Luminaries!


My favourite thing to do at Christmas, after the tree is up, is to put string lights over everything - mirrors, chalkboards, framed pictures, along bookshelves, and when I had one, along the mantel. Mind you, a few of these stay up way past the holidays! 


String (or fairy) Lights



Don't you just love how these string lights are arranged over this old door. I may just copy the idea, even though I don't have an old door - rats! I found the idea at Christmaholic, a shopping site but you can easily use reproduce this with what you've got. You can even make the light covers yourself using things like doilies, small paper cups, compartments cut out of egg cartons, and so on.


To see more ideas for string lights, click here


Luminaries (Paper)



Kate's Creative Space is the source of this lovely Dutch canal house luminary idea. She even provides a template of the houses. To download, click here



I found this idea over at Dream Home Decorating. An inexpensive way to dress up your Christmas table. For instructions, click here.


Luminaries (Jar)



This idea is from Michaels but I'm sure there are dozens (even hundreds) or similar ideas using jars. Just remember to use battery-powered tea lights rather than candles. LED battery-powered tea lights last the longest. The website for Ball mason jars has a lot of ideas for making mason jar luminaries. You don't have to use mason jars - any clear jar will do. Just clean it up and go for it.


For more ideas, go here.



Here's a neat idea using aluminum foil insert inside a jar that's been punched with holes to allow the light to show through. I found it at Surprised DIY.


For the how-tos, go here


Luminary (Rudolph's Nose)



My little contribution - by now, you probably know that I don't throw much out (and it's a good thing). So when I went through my Christmas storage box and found a musical Christmas holiday card I got last year (still lighting up and playing a Christmas tune) and a plastic reindeer, the (figurative) light bulb turned on.


Because the musical tune was not a favourite (and started to get annoying), I detached the wire to the music mechanism but left the light battery mechanism intact. I painted the deer red (because that was all the paint I had left) and then attached the 'nose' mechanism with glue to the reindeer and - voila - Rudolph's glowing nose was born. Two days later and it's still 'glowing' strong!

Christmas Ideas - K

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

K is for



Kids Christmas Crafts


There are a lot of Christmas craft ideas for kids out there. If you've been following the Christmas blog, almost any of the ideas here, you'll soon see that most can be made by kids (with supervision). And there are loads of other blogs with even more ideas. So take the time to check these out for some easy, peasy ideas. The following are a few links to get you started.


Kiddy crafts, wraps, trees from our lady Martha.


Sweet Paul has lots of great ideas (even if he misspells Christmas) for you and the kids.


Parents online magazine has loads more.



No instructions at the site for these little trees but would be easy to copy with paper, buttons and wooden skewers. 

Christmas Ideas - J

Posted on December 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

J is for


Jingle Bells



What else? Make these Christmas bell clusters to decorate a wreath, your Christmas tree, a wrapped gift, or leave a bunch in a bowl to give to guests at your holiday do. No matter how you use them, they'll be a hit.


Heather from Whipperberry (a favourite foodie blog) as a guest blogger shows you how over at U Create. For her tutorial, click here.


Christmas Ideas - I

Posted on December 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I is for


Inspiration




Need some inspiration for Christmas projects? Want to encourage your kids’ creativity this holiday season? Bundle the kids up warm and head out to favourite flower, gift and decorating shops (and don’t forget department stores) to find out the latest in Christmas holiday decorations. Don’t take any cash or cards (the temptation to buy will be too great). Instead, arm yourself and the kids with small notebooks and/or a camera. Use your cell camera if you have one. Then when the kids spot something they like, encourage them to take a picture (always ask first) or, if photos aren’t allowed, make a small sketch and write a short description in the notebooks.


When you get home, over mugs of hot chocolate, ask the kids to think of ways to duplicate what they recorded and liked using whatever they can find at home. The recycling bin is a good place to start. The idea is if you find something you like, but can’t afford (or even if you can), think of a way to remake it on the cheap. It’s possible. It’s also a great way to get them away from their electronic toys for a bit. Encourage your kids to think creatively and, before you know it, you’ll have a pile of decorations that cost you very little, or even better, nothing! It will keep them busy while you do what you have to do and will encourage that creativity bug all kids are born with.


Improvisation


Review what you all wrote down and the photos you took to figure out what attracted you the most. Then set to work.




For example, expensive glass reindeer and trees decorating a fireplace mantel in a décor shop can be recreated with those plastic ones you’ve got buried in the Christmas storage box. No reindeer or trees? Use whatever ornaments you've got in your Christmas box and want to spruce up. Just paint them (using whatever paint you’ve got on hand) and create small mantel or tabletop vignettes or centrepieces.



                                                           Source


A glorious display of paper stars you may have spotted at a department store can easily be duplicated using cereal box cardboard and a lick of leftover paint. Make the stars in different sizes but make lots. By the way, you don't have to paint the stars and you can leave the printed side untouched. After, no one's going to see that side, right? You can learn how to make them here.



                                                             Source


Tin cans rescued from the recycling bin are just begging to be painted to resemble those lovely white vases you photographed at a flower shop. Add branches and greenery from the front yard garden. The secret to these is using hi gloss paint. To make your own, check out Bianca's very elegant blog here



                                                              Source


Your horde of small jars can be turned into chic magical mini-lanterns as seen in the window of a gift store just by adding a bit of ribbon or string and tea lights. Battery-powered tea lights are available and safer than the real thing. Use lots of jars to create an impressive display with oodles of panache – that’s what professional decorators do. Get neighbours and friends to contribute jars if you don’t have enough. To duplicate, click here.



                                                                 Source


If you saw the cutest Christmas ornaments in a gift store but the price tag was way out of your budget, just go home and remake those tired ones you've been using year in and year out into something similar. A little glue, fabric and paper can go a long way. To learn how to make nautically-inspired baubles, click on Courtney's blog here


Ikea


                                                                    Source


Ya - I'm (sort of) a fan. You can get a lot of good ideas by visiting Ikea's Livet Hemma blog. I've found oodles of ideas I can re-interpret using what I've got. For example, I recently spotted these Ikea light ornaments. I'll make my own version by placing battery-powered tea lights inside some of my tea strainer collection. I'll add ribbons once I find where I stored these last year.


I also like Ikea's Christmas glass ball wreath (at the top of this blog) that designers have updated by adding sprigs of greenery to the wreath. If you have a lot of unused glass ornaments, this would be a spectacular way to upcycle them. Your kids can thread the balls on to the wire coat hanger. To follow Eddie Ross' tutorial on how to make this Christmas holiday wreath, click here


I could go on and on - but you get the idea (I hope!). Have fun!

Christmas Ideas - H

Posted on November 29, 2014 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

H is for 


Herbs (Rosemary Trees)



Lots on these past few days and finding something starting with an 'h' that held my attention was a bit of a challenge until I saw this posting at Bluebird Chic. Very quick, very easy (and messy enough) for the kids to put together. And makes a nice gift for teachers, grandparents, neighbours, etc. To make, click here.



Another rosemary herb tree but one a bit bigger. This one is from Fun.Kyti and would be spectacular in the hallway or as a centrepiece. Not much to do except get the kids to make and cut out the paper trees for decorations. I love the paperbag cover. For instructions, go here.


Both these bloggers have oodles of stuff that you might enjoy so take your time and have a wee look around both.


If you want to know how to prolong the life of your rosemary herb Christmas trees after the holidays, visit the Herb Gardener. For his sage advice (oops - I made a pun!), go here.


Christmas Ideas - G Part 2

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

G is for 


Gingerbread House


Actually, I don't do real gingerbread houses - instead I have always made mine using graham crackers. I found the instructions for this type of Christmas holiday house many years ago I believe in Family Circle magazine and made quite a few for my little girl and her friends over the years. Now it's all over the internet, but you have to look hard to find one that is really easy, peasy to make.




Some, like Stephanie Lynn over at stephanielynn.com use hot glue to hold the structure together. And, like me, Stephanie uses ice cream wafer cones for 'trees'. But you and I know that kids are gonna eat these little houses, so forget about the hot glue gun and make the whole thing edible. I make a version of what's called royal icing for the 'glue' and also for the snow.


If there are older kids in your household, have them help you assemble the wee houses and, of course, let the little ones do the decorating. Decorating the ice cream wafer trees is easy enough for a two-year old. Just be sure that you have enough candy goodies on hand, as I am sure some will mysteriously disappear.


Royal Icing - My Version


I combine icing sugar and enough lemon juice to thicken the sugar into a nice paste and then add a quarter teaspoon or so of tartar which hardens the icing. It hardens up very quickly so if the batch gets too thick, add a little water. Use this also to create the snow on the roof and on the 'trees'.


Kelly Moore supplies complete step by step instructions (with great photos) and recipes here.



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