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christmas decoration

  • Fabric Advent Calendars

    Great news! If you'll remember back a couple of weeks, I shared with you a darling advent calendar pattern. Many of our readers love these kinds of Christmas decoration projects because they are simple to make and yet add so much to the whole holiday experience.  Advent calendars in particular have become a preferred way for you and your family to count down the days until Christmas, and Merry Stockings did not want to be left out of all the hoopla. Sooo, we are now carrying fabric advent calendars on our website!

    The products that you'll see come in both non-religious and religious themes, so you are sure to find one your family will love. Take a peek at the 5 designs we're carrying brand new this year:

     

    Santas Workshop Advent Calendar

    Santa's Workshop Advent Calendar

    Holy Night Advent Calendar

    Holy Night Advent Calendar

    Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

    Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

    Nativity Advent Calendar

    Nativity Advent Calendar

    Dog Gone It Advent Calendar

    Dog Gone It Advent Calendar

    Tidings of Joy Advent Calendar

    Tidings of Joy Advent Calendar

    Every advent calendar comes with movable pieces, making these fabric decorations both utterly adorable and ingeniously interactive! No more questions about how many more days until Christmas....the little ones in your family will be telling you!

    Fabric advent Calendars are a perfect way to prepare for Christmas Day, and the best news is that each of the above designs have a reduced retail price. Click on the links below each one to be taken to the Merry Stockings website where you'll find full details!

  • Elf on the Shelf Ornaments

    Elf-on-the-Shelf-Ideas-09There are some trends that seem to stick around longer than you'd like, but Elf on the Shelf just is NOT one of those! With his innocent, adorable and yet mischievous nature, there is something about this trend that makes nearly everyone smile.

    We have shared some very cute ideas with you on how to incorporate this growing tradition, and I just love this one. Hang it from the bathroom light fixture so his cute little greeting will be seen by even the sleepiest eyes. For more ideas just check out the pictures here.

    _elf-on-the--the-shelf_v2KOAs you can see, having more than one of these little guys around makes the fun even grander. That's why I want to share with you the Bucilla Elf on the Shelf Ornament Kit. Hang these on your tree or place in strategic places. It makes for a very fun game because you never know where this red suit is going to show up.

    The kit is available on the Merry Stockings website right now, too. Each of the ornaments measures about 5", and of course just like all the other Bucilla kits, comes with everything you  need to complete your project.

    Photo credit

  • A Rustic Christmas

    I have a facebook friend who lives in Alaska, and today she showed a video of the striking, no, breathtaking beauty that is Alaska! Image after image was postcard perfect, creating at least a desire to visit. My friend tells me that it is entirely possible to ride her bike year round too. Say what? Isn't Alaska the epitome of frigidity, snow and ice? Apparently there's more to it. I have to say  that tho I can live my life without the cold, there is something so appealing about the rustic feel of Alaska.

    outdoor ornamentsSo, this got me thinking about Christmas ornaments that fall into this style....rustic. I have always loved the brushed bronze look, and so it's no wonder that this very lovely outdoor ornament drew my eye. These are described as outdoor ornaments, but of course they can always be used inside too. I think they are just so pretty!

    You won't believe how utterly simple they are to make either.  In the picture these look, well, ginormous don't they? When I checked out the details on the purchase page, I learned that apparently we are seeing an illusion. The largest ornament shown is 18"...now that's pretty big for an ornament, but the picture makes it look 3 feet, right?

    I think we can make these! Let's start small though with regular sized ornaments and just see how it goes before we attempt the really large one. I gotta say tho, I really really want to make the 3 foot version!

    Let's begin with a regular sized glass ball ornament. Using a glue gun, draw whatever design you want on the glass...or even a monogram. Let it dry, then spray paint. Add a bow on the top, and voila, you're done!

    Any ideas what we could use for the super large version? Maybe an exercise ball?

    Photo credit

  • 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!

  • 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

  • Beautiful Christmas Wreaths

    wreath topFor the last couple of days I've been talking with you about Christmas wreaths....their history and just exactly how you put one of 'em together so it looks great. I was thinking last night about my first wreath and how I really had no idea on how it was supposed to look or what theme I wanted.

    If this is your first time making your own Christmas wreath, I thought maybe offering some ideas of what others have done might help to get the ol' creative ball rolling. So without further ado, settle in for some viewing pleasure. :)\

    wreath 1

     

     

    wreath 2

     

     

    wreath 8

     

    wreath 3

     

     

    wreath 5

     

    wreath 4 rosemary

     

    wreath 6

     

    wreath 7

     

    wreath 9

     

    wreath 10

     

    See, I told you you couldn't do it wrong. :)

    Next time we'll take a look at some creative wreaths that are made out of materials other than greens. It's going to be very fun, so don't miss it!

    Until then,

    Cheryl

    Photo Credit: Title Wreath, Gallery

  • 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

  • History of the Christmas Wreath

    traditional wreathI made my very first Christmas wreath one year without really even a plan or a thought. What I mean to say is that it was more of an afterthought than something I planned out. You see, we brought home the biggest and best Christmas tree on the farm lot we could find, and just like my husband said before we forked over the cash, it was way too tall for our living room. You can probably guess the rest.....we found ourselves with several inches of tree trunk as well as the accompanying branches laying on the back porch. The tree now fit in the house, but what to do with all this darned mess.

    light bulb moment

    The men (the huz and the 3 littles) were in the house working on getting the tree to stand up tall and straight, so I headed outside to clean up the mess. There were some really great looking branches, and I realized I could use those to decorate the rest of the house.....the mantle, the table, and the door! Thus, my first handmade wreath was born.

    The Christmas wreath is one of the most popular decorations at Christmas. You'll find them, of course, on people's front doors as a sign of welcome, but also quite often used as a part of  an Advent celebration or even hanging from the lamp posts in the city.

    But, the truth is there is quite a long history for the ol' wreath. Pagan cultures would have a gathering of wreaths at winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, a day that represented death and rebirth to them. They celebrated the end of the ever-shortening days and welcomed the promise of spring, all with celebrations and wreaths. Some would even add candles, symbolic of the sun.

    laurel wreathIn ancient times, wreaths were a symbol of success and importance, and were worn as headbands. Olympic athletes wore them as well as military leaders, signifying victory. In the Christian world, the circle shape with no beginning and no end are thought to mean everlasting life or eternal rebirth.  Even the accouterments added to the wreath have meaning. The holly berries represent immortality and the cedar strength. I don't know about you, but I find all of this fascinating!

    Of course, the common Christmas wreath in our modern day carries much more simplicity for us. Hung on the front door or in the window, it's like saying "Come in, you are welcome here!" And, that is a beautiful thing.

    Tomorrow we'll go over some basic steps in creating your own wreath, and offer some tips on maintaining it.

    Until then,

    Cheryl

    Photo courtesies:  wreath, light bulb, athlete

  • Christmas in July | Beachy Ornaments

    puerto ricoDo you know anyone who either lives some place tropical or their weather is just warm and sunny year round? We have some friends who, a couple of years ago, packed up their household and moved to Puerto Rico! They were both born and raised in the northern part of the U.S. so this was no small adjustment, although they don't look like they're suffering too much!

    One way we stay in touch is via Facebook, and they seem to love snapping pictures of the beach and the beautiful Caribbean sunsets, making the rest of us oh so jealous of their delightful scenery and weather. Wanting of course to visit them, I immediately entered a google alert for good airfares between Minneapolis and there...thinking maybe somewhere around January or February? ;)

    beachy ornamentsTurns out that some of the raw materials for Christmas ornaments and decorations that we make are much more plentiful and found naturally in the summer...unless of course you live in paradise, then you can skip this post, haha.

    I like the idea of collecting sea shells from the beach, a little sand, maybe even tiny splinters of driftwood, and making these delightful glass ornaments. While you are enjoying vacation why not get your Christmas in July on at the same time?

    Photo credit:  Beach, Ornament

     

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