Tuesday, November 22

:: A Crafty Christmas ::

Thanksgiving seems to be skipped over as the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year. The pilgrims don't ever seem to have a chance! Poor guys. And here I am contributing to the problem by blogging about Christmas already. But I can't help myself. It's all Pinterest's fault. So many cute ideas...so little time. First up, Painted Salt Dough Ornaments!
You will need:
-1 c Flour
-1/2 c Salt
-1/2 c water
Pour all ingredients in a bowl.
Mix it up.
Roll it out.
Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
Use a straw to create holes in the tops for the ornament ribbon. Then place in the oven and bake low and slow at 2oo degrees for 2 hours or more until hardened.
The next day Parrish went to work painting each ornament for one of his preschool classmates.
He lovingly picked a certain shape and color for each person and had me write their name on the front in paint pen after his basecoat was dry.

I painted a few of the smaller circles with gift tag messages to tie to the tops of Christmas packages.
On the back I wrote the name of their class "Energetic Elephants" and the year.

I wrapped each ornament in a cellophane Christmas gift bag filled with red and green m&m's. Sweet P will hand these out to his school friends next month.
Here is a picture of my Christmas mantle so far (please don't tell anyone I am doing this so early-it's kind of embarassing-I have scoffed at people like me in year's past and here I am joining in!) Anyway, I made the metallic Christmas trees pictured on the mantle from old magazines! (I learned this from a Christmas with Southern Living book I was flipping through at Glorio's last year)

Here's how you do it. First, gather old magazine in various sizes (I used Southern Living and Readers Digest).

Break the spine of the magazine and turn to page 1. Fold the page from the top right hand corner to the middle (as seen above).

Then take the bottom right hand corner and fold it to the middle again.

Next, turn the bottom "tail" up so it is even with the remaining pages of the magazine. Repeat this process for every page (yes, this can get a little tedious - I suggest doing it in front of a favorite show so you don't give up and throw the magazine out the window) until you have a tree like this:

I thought the colors of these magazine trees were cool as-is for the right decor, but I decided to spray paint mine with metallic spray paint for a glamorous twist. In a particularly girly moment I even dusted some glitter on top.

The disclaimer here is that these trees will most likely only survive one Christmas. I don't see them making it un-crushed in a tupperware bin until next year, but it was a fun project nonetheless. Now I just need to add some fresh greenery and our stockings.
In a final burst of crafty inspiration I fashioned these Christmas trees on our front porch out of tomato cages from Walmart. You're probably asking yourself how on earth I came up with the idea to turn tomato cages into Christmas trees and the answer is, I have no idea. Except that I had been looking online at grapevine cone-shaped trees for days. I wanted to wrap the pine garland around them, but they are pretty pricey and I didn't want to spend that much. Then Parrish and I walked into the garden center at Walmart and were greeted with stacks of tomato cages perfectly shaped like cones, the right height, and at $2 verses $80 per tree, they fit the pocketbook a little better than the grapevine version.
I took them home, added a coat of red spray paint, perched them on top of my stone planters, wrapped and wired the garland on top and finished them with a burlap "bow" at the top. Not bad for about $8 worth of materials!

What Christmas crafts do you do with your kids/family/friends? I love hearing new ideas and being inspired by other people's creativity, so do tell!!

Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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