Thursday, 29 November 2012

Simple Sparkly Christmas Letters


I am totally loving sparkly things this year - glitter all the way I say! So when I came across some large mdf letters at my local Spotlight I couldn't resist sparkling them up a bit!

My original idea was to cover them with glitter but when I looked at the cost of a jar of glitter ($8!!) I decided that was just instead I found some great glitter scrap book paper - a lot cheaper, easier and cleaner.

To spell out the word 'noel' I bought 2 pieces of scrap booking paper (lay out the letters on your paper to make sure you have enough!

Next I gave the letters a coat of white paint. 

Next trace and cut out each of your letters from the glitter paper. Make sure you trace them on the wrong side of the paper AND that the letter is mirror image so when you cut it out the glittery side is the right way around (I traced out the first letters backwards...I swear I do this every time!)

Cover each of the letters (facing right way up) with a good coat of craft glue. Place the glitter cut out letter neatly over the mdf letter, press down firmly and leave to dry (I found securing the edges with some pegs kept the edges really flat).

Once the letters are completely dry, display your sparkly Christmas words anywhere you want!

Happy Crafting!

Caity x

Monday, 26 November 2012

Decorative Christmas Panels Using Cookie Cutters


These Christmas Panels were really quick and easy! I used some (more!) leftover plywood that I had (each panel is approx. 12.5cm x 17cm), and four different ‘festive-looking’ cookie cutter shapes. These designs would also look lovely on some small canvases.

I simply traced the shape onto the wood. I traced the outside of the shape (as opposed to tracing from the inside), so that the shape would be as big as possible.

Then I just painted around each shape. I like the rustic look the paint gets, when it’s painted straight onto the rough wood, no undercoat or anything.

I actually used a small brush so that I’d only have to do one coat. The colours I used were ones that I already had in the cupboard: Taubmans Grass Court (green), Dulux Grid (charcoal), Dulux Red Alert (red) and Dulux Odgen Melon (yellow). I didn't paint the sides of the plywood.

You could hang them up any way you like – I just used blutak for mine, and they also look great simply leaning up above a mantelpiece or shelf.

Happy making!


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Simple Fairy Light Wreath

Craft/Home Decorating:

This fairy light wreath has to be one of the simplest ways you can brighten up your house for Christmas and it cost me nothing to make - that's right I already had the 3 things you will need and I'm sure you will too: 

1. Fairy lights
2. Cardboard (mine came from a fruit box I got for free at the local fruit and veg shop)
3. Ribbon (long enough to hang the wreath)

To make this wreath all I did was cut out a circle from the cardboard (as large as I could make it using a plate as a template).

Next just start wrapping around the fairy lights starting at the end closest to the plug and wrap all the way around evenly until you have used up all the lights. 

Finally tie a ribbon at the top of the wreath with a big bow and hang. So pretty and something a little different to the traditional green leafy Christmas wreaths.

Happy crafting. 

Caity x

Monday, 19 November 2012

Packing Tape Picture for Christmas


This artwork would have to be one of the quickest and easiest projects I’ve ever done - no painting or any particular skill required! It looks so modern and funky up on the wall.

I was trying to come up with ideas for cheap, original and easy to make Christmas presents the other day while I was in K-Mart… I saw the packing tape for $5 and then had the idea to make some artwork with it. 

This project is so simple that children could make it as their present to give away too.

I purchased a medium-sized canvas from a bargain shop for about $15. This design would also work really well on a large canvas.  I left the canvas as it is (white).

Then I got out my packing tape and started wrapping it around the canvas. Don’t worry about doing any sort of design, just wrap it around randomly and do lots of layers. I started with red, then yellow, then green, then blue, then black (as the first layer). Then I completed the picture by using the green, yellow and red again for the top layers, in order to give it a ‘lighter’ look.

Once I’d finished I cut a hole in the back with scissors so that I could hang it up!

So easy! Someone would love getting this for Christmas I’m sure.

Happy making!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Modern Christmas Tree Quilt


This will be Thom’s 4th Christmas – each one gets more and more fun and I love how excited he gets. This year I wanted to make a Christmas quilt – one that we can bring out each Christmas, something special to add to our Christmas traditions.

This quilt is based on a simple xxx triangle pattern. The triangles are equilateral triangles with each side 11".

I used a mix of red, green, white and aqua to make a really modern design. I used the aqua spots for the background so that the red and green trees ‘pop’ out.

Just need to find the right backing and binding now and get it quilted before the big man comes in 6 weeks!

Happy quilting!

Caity x

Monday, 12 November 2012

Christmas Medicine-Bottle Vases


I spend a lot of my time at my kitchen sink, as I’m sure all of you do! While I was there the other day, I was thinking that it would be nice to have a small-scale Christmas decoration to put on the window right in front of my sink, so that I’d see it all day!

I usually have a small geranium cutting in an old-fashioned glass bottle sitting on my window in the kitchen… so I thought I’d work with that theme and I came up with these Christmas Medicine-Bottle Vases!

This project was very easy and relatively quick too. Firstly I chose three sizes from my collection of medicine bottles that I have been saving for some time. I’m concerned that soon all medicine will come in plastic bottles so I’m keeping all the glass I can get my hands on!

Then I painted each of the bottles a different colour. I just used leftover house paint colours that I already had. The white is Dulux Natural White, the brown is Dulux Rolling Pebble and the red is a Haymes paint called Geranium.

I didn’t worry about any undercoats or anything on the bottles – I just did about four coats on each.

I discovered that it is very easy to rest something on non-stick baking paper, especially when you have to paint the top and bottom of something.

Then I chose something to paint on them. I wanted them to look a bit Scandinavian, so I used some designs out of this book: Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs.

It’s a lovely book and continues to give me loads of ideas… and I’ve not sewed anything out of it yet! I ended up painting a tree, wreath and snowflake design on my bottles.

Then, once the bottles were completely dry,  I filled them with water and put a sprig of box hedge in each to complete the Christmas look. And now it’s very nice to see them 470 times a day when I’m at my kitchen sink!

Of course you could put these vases anywhere you wanted – they don’t have to go on a window sill. They look lovely next to a bed too. And you could do them in any colour, any design… there are lots of options.

Last year I made another Christmas decoration that is ideal for use in a small space – you may like to check it out - it’s my really easy Mini Christmas Mobile.

Happy making!


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Simple to Make Pressed Clay Christmas Decorations

Home Decorating/Craft:

I have been wanting to make these decorations for a while now.
These decorations are really simple to make, you could make them with your kids for some great holiday craft too. Although the list of things you need looks long, you will find you have pretty much everything already, except the clay and maybe the varnish.

What you need:
  •  Cookie cutters (whatever shape you want – doesn’t have to be a Christmas shape – round cutters or fluted cutters both look great.
  • White air-dry clay (mine was approx. $8 for 500g from Spotlight)
  • Clear varnish (I used Gloss Lustre Modge Podge)
  • Paint brush or sponge 
  • Rubber stamps
  • Drinking straw
  • Rolling pin
  • Ribbon or twine to hang the decorations
  • Baking tray or chopping board
  • Baking paper
I made a total of 43 decorations of various sizes out of the 500g of clay I bought, so they really are a cheap way to make great decorations for your tree this year.

1. To make these I cut off about 2 inch wedge of the clay and rolled it out to a thickness of about 3mm onto a chopping board with a layer of baking paper underneath.

2. Then use your cookie cutter shapes to cut out your shapes. Just keep rerolling the clay to use up all the clay, like you would when making cookies.

3. This is the fun part, use your rubber stamps to make impressions in the clay. I used a peacock stamp for mine and little individual letters to write Christmas words on the decorations. But you could use anything you like, maybe a fork or some pressed glass you have, anything that will leave an imprint in the clay.

4. Once you are happy with the printing you need to set aside the clay decorations to dry completely. Best to leave them for a couple days in a nice dry place (I put mine on a baking tray and left them on the deck in the sun for a couple hours – it's summer here so it doesn’t take long!)

5. To give your decorations a lovely glimmer perfect for the Christmas tree I used 2 coats of Modge Podge Gloss Lustre (I bought this at Spotlight for about $10 – but it will last forever!). Make sure you let each layer properly dry in between. You could also add glitter or a colour at this stage instead if you wanted something brighter – I think the kids would really love that!

6. Finally you can thread through your ribbon or twine (I bought mine at Biome - $7.95 for 100m).

I have some snowflake decorations drying at the moment too – can't wait to finish those – they are so pretty.

I also made some smaller clay cut outs too that I’m going to hang on a branch in my living room – just need to find the branch first!

Happy Christmas Crafting

Caity x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Easy-to-Make Rustic Christmas Tree Picture using String and Nails


If you’re looking for a very low maintenance Christmas tree… then this project’s for you! I also like the idea of changing around some of your everyday artwork to Christmas-themed ones, just for the season. For example, last year I did a Peg Print in Christmas Colours.

This Rustic Christmas Tree project was very simple, and it looks quite funky up on my wall. I purchased a piece of plywood from Bunnings(size on the back says 900 x 600 x 12), and painted one side of it in Dulux Grid.

Make sure you don’t paint the sides of the plywood – the plain wood sides tie in nicely with the string colour.

Then I worked out where to hammer in my nails (these were also purchased at Bunnings).

I sort-of did this by eye, but you could also print out a Christmas tree design and use it as a guide.

I then hammered in my nails – hammer them in just enough to cope with having the string wound around them.

And then I wound the string around my design: I cut a long piece of string first, then found the middle of it and put the middle over the top nail of the Christmas tree and wrapped around it. I then used two hands at the same time (one side of the string in each) and wound the string around all the nails. When I got to the bottom I tied a small knot and snipped of the leftover ends.

Then I got some different string (of course you could still use the same string, it will look good) and wound it around the tree for a small bit of decoration.

There are endless possibilities with this project – you could use a different background colour, different picture, coloured wool instead of string, or you could actually decorate the tree.

My daughter Poppy has already made a few things out of paper and has tied them onto our Tree Picture herself.

Or you could simply paint in the outline of the tree in a style that would look very similar to this type of painting.

Happy making!


PS Don’t forget to check out our Christmas projects from last year for more ideas too… type ‘Christmas’ into the search box on our blog and a list of our festive projects will come up!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Christmas Doily Candles

Home Decorating:

Can you believe that Christmas is just over 7 weeks away? Seems like it was yesterday Em and I were posting our Christmas ideas last year!

Em and I have some great ideas over the coming weeks to help you get organised for Christmas this year, so make sure you check in with us so you don't miss out!

Anyway, I thought I'd start out nice and easy this week with some pretty doily candles. This has to be one of the simplest ways to decorate your table for Christmas. 

Simply find some paper doilies (mine were 99c for a pack of 12 at the discount shop) and wrap them around any jars, hurricane lamps or votive candle holders you might have and tie with a mix of lovely red ribbons.

Happy Christmas crafting.

Caity x