christmas crafts

  • Creative Use of a Button

    rustic buttonOne of the things my creative mind loves doing the most is finding multiple uses for simple, ordinary things. It is my industrious character trait coupled with creativity and, of course, frugality at work! And, what could be more basic than a button?

    I dare say few things are more rudimentary than a button. :) Think about it, we've been making buttons to clasp things closed for a very long time, way before we learned to make them in a factory. Wood sticks and loops of twine is just one example!

    I think we can take this inexpensive little thing called a button and make some really charming Christmas items. Here are just a few examples:

     

    button card

    Now isn't that just about the cutest card you've ever seen? It has that minimalist look too that is so popular, and what you see ends up being way more than the sum of its parts.

     

    button cookies

    How about button cookies? These are simple sugar or butter cookies, too! After you roll out your dough and cut your circle, take a cookie cutter just a little smaller and press lightly for the groove. Then poke 2 holes in the center with a skewer. I think these would be adorable as a table favor at a ladies Christmas party, or a very creative way to bundle up plain sugar cookies for a cookie exchange.

     

    button ornament

    I LOVE this idea. It involves a package of colored buttons in various shades, some thin wire and ribbon. These can be ornaments for the tree or even gift tags! This is a tag that your sewing friend will definitely not throw away, and will forever think of you as their most creative friend.

    While going to the spendy department store for their annual Christmas ornament is a tradition for many, I simply love the idea of crafting one of our own annual ornaments from the staples of life.

     

    Photo credit:  Wooden stick, card, cookies, ornament/gift tag

     

     

  • Smells of the Season ~ Homemade Potpourri

    homemade potpourriThere is something about the smells of the Christmas season that offer up warm fuzzies for anyone who walks through your door. Whether it be something you're baking, or roasting or boiling up on the stove, the aromas spell holiday magic, warmth and love!

    And even tho it almost doesn't matter what it is, if it has the warmth of cinnamon wafting through the air, you have a winner in everyone's book. I found this fantastic homemade potpourri mix that is a classic Merry Stockings recipe. Why is it classic Merry Stockings you ask? Well, it's simple to make, it's not that expensive, and it really is magic.

    What's even better is that packaging this mix up in a holiday bag makes the perfect gift! You'll be buying the ingredients already, so there will likely be enough for your own homespun magic and for gifts. That is a complete win-win, yes? Also, you don't have to make this mix more than once. You just keep adding water to the pan, and this wonderful concoction will last for weeks!

    You can find full instructions here. This will be a great use for those cranberries I bought a couple months ago that I stashed in the freezer! I can already smell it!

     

  • Bucilla Christmas Toys Wreath Kit

    I don't think there's a little boy alive that, at one time or another, hasn't asked for a drum set. Every year when we asked our boys to make their Christmas lists, a drum set appeared on at least one of those lists. My husband and I would look at each other, slightly grimace, and see what else their little active boy minds were dreaming of!

    Christmas Toys WreathI think drums and trains and candy canes are nearly synonymous with Christmas for kids, and of course Bucilla (and Merry Stockings) knew this when they designed this adorable Bucilla Christmas Toys Wreath Kit! We've talked before on the blog about how some Christmas decorations are such that you can get by with leaving them up longer than just the Christmas season, but this here wreath is definitely not one of those!

    Ice skates, presents, snow flakes, snowman, Santa, trains and candy canes deck out this very fun and sweet wreath, and following the included instructions (in 3 languages no less) will have you secretly smiling while you make it. I mean, it's pretty hard thinking about these cute and very traditional symbols of childhood and Christmas and not smiling, no?

    This Bucilla Christmas Toys Felt Kit comes with everything you'll need to complete it. The finished size is 16' x 16" and will liven up any door...or wall...or banister even! You can feel good about the fact also that this kit, like most other Bucilla kits, is made right here in the United States . . . you'll be supporting a homeland business. Does it get any better than that?

    The price on this wreath kit, like the one we showed you yesterday, is 20% off on the Merry Stockings website and is listed for just $27.99. Order today so that you'll have a fun project to start just as soon as the kids go back to school in a few weeks!

  • Wreath Kits For You

    We've been spending quite a bit of time looking at some pretty cool wreaths over the last several week, not to mention delving into the history of this quintessential Christmas decoration. We also gave some basic instructions on how to make a live wreath, and then filled your brain with pictures of lots of unique wreaths to get your creative juices flowing.  I want to wrap up this mini wreath series and show you a couple of Bucilla kits that we carry on our website, Merry Stockings. I'm not saying we won't ever talk about wreaths again (of COURSE we will!), but I am really excited to share with you these fun, do-it-yourself kits that have become immensely popular.

    cookies wreathFirst up today is the Bucilla Cookies and Candy Wreath Kit! Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, this wreath really is 3 dimensional. What could be sweeter  hanging on your door than candy canes, gingerbread cookies and hard candies? You'll get all those along with those psychedelic round suckers in this fantastic kit. I am gonna bet my bottom dollar that the kiddos might even be willing to help out with this one.

    Do you have a crafty person on your Christmas list, someone who is hard to buy for? This sweet three dimensional felt applique wreath would make a fabulous gift too. Best part? It comes complete with everything you need to complete it. No last minute running to the craft store, it's ALL included:  stamped felt, cotton floss, sequins and/or beads, needles and even instructions in three languages.

    The Cookies and Candy Wreath kit is designed by Maria Stanziani and is made in the good ol' USA. Finished size is 15" x 15". The list price on this fun kit is $34.99 but you won't pay that at Merry Stockings. Order today and receive 20% off, paying just $27.99.

     

  • Elf on the Shelf Bucilla Wreath, Oh My!

    All this talk recently about wreaths, and I just couldn't leave out the ever popular Elf on the Shelf theme. This very adorable story has gone viral as they say, and is taking the Christmas world by storm. I did a couple of posts awhile back on the Elf on the Shelf, one on how Elf on the Shelf got it's start and the other showing the elf hard at work. If you missed them, take a short li'l joy break and check 'em out. You won't be sorry. :)

    _Elf-on-shelf-5-KOMerry Stockings simply will not be left out of all the hoopla around this great li'l guy, er elf. This is one of the infamous Bucilla kits, and if you aren't familiar with these little gem projects, let me introduce you. Meet the Elf on the Shelf Wreath Kit; you've got your candy canes, your holly, your stars, and then there's that famous li'l elf just chillin' out.

    Made from felt with beads, embroidery floss, sequins, a needle, and arriving with super easy to follow instructions, you may end up becoming a member of the ever growing Bucilla kit addicts fan club. :)

    The finished product is 16" x 16", and we'll ship this kit to you within 5 business days of your order. You'll have a ball making this, so why not order right now? You can find this Bucilla kit on our website.

  • The Au Naturel Wreath!

    I really am a sucker for all things naturel....reduce something fancy and elaborate down to the least common denominator, down to its simplest form and that's my happy place. Sounds weird I know, but there is something about that non-embellished look that resonates. Today's featured wreath is one of those happy moments for me.....it's a bay leaf and pomegranate garland!

    bayleafpomwreathNow you might never guess that this is from real materials, you know the kind you buy at the grocery store instead of the craft store. Don't get me wrong, I love me some craft store shoppin' any day, but would you ever in your wildest dreams imagine you could make a lovely garland like this from the lowly bay leaf?

    When I first saw this I wondered about the weight of those pomegranates. You too? They are real pomegranates, but they are dried and are light as a feather! Think of the difference between a hard boiled egg and one of those colored easter eggs with the insides blown out of a tiny hole. I really really love this unique garland for any place you wanna drape something. And, even tho it's green and red, I still think it is most definitely a year round decoration.

    Curious how to make it? I was too....so you can find complete instructions here. The best part is that, while you can buy  pomegranates that are dried and preserved, it is very very very simple to dry them yourself. Don't believe me? Check it out here. If you do decide to dry your own, just get started early as it does take those beautiful poms 2-3 weeks to dry.

    Bay leaves and pomegranates. I think I'm in heaven.

    Photo courtesy

  • How to Make a Christmas Wreath

    handmadeIf you've been around the Merry Stockings blog and website for any length of time, you know we're all about hand crafted projects! There are definitely times when its good to buy something ready-made, and we sell some very fun decorations like this on our website, but also some great do-it-yourself projects. We know, like you do, that when you make something with your own hands, well, it's just very special, isn't it?

    So, today I want to give you some simple and specific instructions on how to make your own live Christmas wreath. When you see the wreaths already made at the Christmas tree lot, they look like they'd require some serious know-how, but I'm here to tell you that just ain't true. :) If I can do it, so can you.

    Here we go. You're gonna love how easy it all is once you get some really basic things down. First, materials:KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

    1. A soft touch ring. These are great because if you don't like how it looks, it's very easy to adjust. You can find one here.
    2. Greens. Any kind. As many different kinds as you like. Or just one. It's your wreath!
    3. Special touches. Things like holly berries, pine cones, rubber duckies, anything that you want and think will fit your taste.
    4. Your imagination! There is no reason in the world to make a "normal" wreath. What is that anyway? You certainly can go traditional with this, but if you want to color outside the lines a bit, you have my permission. Which you don't need. Enough said.

    creative wreathNext, follow these simple instructions:

    • Make sure the branches you use are the right size. What's the right size? Well, that depends on how big you want the wreath to be. If you want some of them to border the rest, make those a little longer. If you want them all to have a meshed-together look, be consistent with the lengths.
    • When adding your branches, make sure you are forming a circle. Unless you want a football shaped wreath, which come to think of it might not be a bad idea for Super Bowl season. :)
    • As you add each branch, make sure the tip covers up where you attached the one just prior for a beauteous look. Or, attach a pine cone in that place or other embellishment.
    • Layer the greens and any additional special touches any which way you want. There is no wrong way to do this.
    • Last thing.....make sure that the bendable pins on the soft touch ring are securely fastened around your branches so they don't fall out.

    And that's it. Easy. Fun.

    To keep your wreath looking nice all season long, spritz it lightly with some water several times a week.  Also, they like to breathe so hanging them in between the door and the screen is probably not the best idea.

    Have fun!

    Cheryl

     

    Photo credit:  Handmade, Traditional Wreath, Creative Wreath

  • Joy to the World | A Bucilla Christmas Stocking Kit

    Joy to the WorldHello there! We are getting really close to the end of July, a time when most people are enjoying a much deserved vacation or a planned golf trip or some other summery adventure. Not many are thinking about Christmas too much. Okay, most aren't thinking about it at all. :) But, wait a second, apparently there are exceptions to every rule. If you've never met anyone who thinks about Christmas this early, you've either never met me OR anyone who handcrafts Bucilla Christmas stockings.

    I popped over to our Facebook page and look what I found! This Joy to the World Bucilla stocking was created by one of our customers who was kind enough to take a picture and send it to us. She did a fantastic job, don't you think? I love this stocking....it captures the true meaning of Christmas with charm and simplicity. Isn't it just the cutest, and at the same time lovely thing?

    The good news is that you won't pay and arm and a leg for this kit. The list price to begin with is pretty low, but you can get 24% off by ordering it today.  The kit comes complete with everything you need to create this stocking:  beads, felt, embroidery floss, sequins, a needle, and of course a set of easy-to-follow instructions.

    We don't have too many of this Bucilla stocking kit, so if you would like to see this hanging on the mantle for some very special person in your life, head on over and order now.  Don't wait, these'll be gone before you know it.

  • Christmas in July | Half Christmas!

    Are you creative? A lot of people have a certain idea about what it means to be a creative person, but what I've discovered is that everyone has a creative side to them. In fact, I find that some of the most practical, pragmatic people I know are incredibly creative and definitely resourceful.

    Christmas-In-July homemade soapSuch is the case today with a little Christmas-in-July project I found, brought to you by a self-declared practical girl. This little thing we're going to make is, really, suitable for any time of year, but fits in perfectly with our theme. It's a gift that you can give today, at Half Christmas, or you can make it today and save to give it on December 25! There are a lot of projects that we feature here on the blog that aren't like that, they will get stale or moldy or they're so delicate they might get knocked over. Not this one. And, it's white! With a little ingenuity with the packaging, we can make this project a lovely gift for now or later.

    I bring you home-made soap. Yes, I'm talking about making your own laundry soap! It's not as hard as you might think, and the people I know who make their own say it is pennies a load. To gather the supplies you will likely not spend more than you would were you to go and buy your favorite ready-made laundry soap, and this one will give you many times over the number of loads. I call that a win-win. And, it saves money to spend on more exciting and fun things!

    Three simple ingredients. A little bit of time. And, you've got yourself the kind of gift that is not just good for Christmas but for absolutely any time of the year when you want to just bless someone. It's a beautiful thing.

    You can find the instructions here. Merry Christmas in July ~ now and later!

    Photo credit:  foodstoragemoms.com

     

     

  • Cranberry Centerpiece

    gift wrappingWhen I was little I remember my mom teaching me, painstakingly so, how to wrap presents. She would clear off our huge dining room table, get her sharpest knife out of the drawer and have that grin on her face like she was about to create something magical.

    She was patient and taught me simple ways to measure how much paper I needed so there'd be no bulky look. She used no scissors, but instead would crease the paper with her fingernail, then slide the sharp knife in between the paper and swish, swish, swish, the piece was cut.

    I thought, wow, this could be called art! She showed me how to fold the corners and to use minimal tape but at the most strategic places so as not to detract from the package. And, then came the bow.

    It was all a pretty lengthy process, and once when I asked her why we take so much time to wrap, she said that the wrapping is part of the gift, it is a sacrifice of time and a thing of beauty. I never ever forgot that.

    cranberry centerpieceNow, we aren't wrapping any presents today or learning how to do it (altho that's a great idea for a future post), but rather emphasizing that some things that may seem unnecessary or that border on obsession really make a difference. Whether it's wrapping gifts, hanging just the right curtains or choosing a striking centerpiece, it all matters. ENTER: a cranberry centerpiece!

    To make something elegant or jaw dropping beautiful or unique does not necessarily require great expense. If you have time (your most precious commodity), you have it all save a few simple craft tools: foam balls, hot glue and cranberries!

    I think you know what to do. Have fun. :)

     

    Photo credit

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