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crafty christmas 2011

I’m so excited about this week of posts. Mostly because I’ve been waiting 7 months to share them and, let’s be honest, because I’m pretty proud of my handy work.

Last year, my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and I decided to have a crafty Christmas- all our gifts to one another had to be handmade.

(Although there may have been a little cheating involved)

Around the end of October my sister came up with the idea, and I was all for it! After scouring Pinterest for hours on end, I would finally have a use for the 4 million crafty things I’ve pinned.

But who am I kidding? Christmas eve day I was up to my knees in hot glue and driftwood, regardless of the fact that I had 2 months to prepare.

Merry Christmas to me.

Despite my procrastination, crafty Christmas ended up being way fun, we all gave and received gifts made with love that were one-of-a-kind and couldn’t be found at any store.

Here are the projects that inspired Crafty Christmas:

| 1 | | 2 | | this one no longer exists on the Crate & Barrel website, sorry! | | 4 |

Come back each day this week for a total of 4 new DIY projects, that are surprisingly easy!

Driftwood candle-holders! Pretty simple to make and a big hit with my mom (who received them). Don’t be intimidated by the number of pictures below…they really are easy!

- 1 -

I collected all of this driftwood the last time I was in Kauai visiting family. I didn’t really have a use for it, I just wanted to make something at some point, and it turns out I’m so glad I got as much as I did. My mom carried all of this home in her carry-on for me, bless her heart.

- 2 -

For this project you’ll need a hot glue gun, a couple of class vases, sandpaper, and driftwood.

- 3 -

Begin by selecting similar heights of driftwood (or different ones if you want more variation), and lay them out in the order you want them on your candleholder. I tried to find ones that fit nicely next to one another, so it’s best to mess around with them a little bit here and find the best match.

- 4 -

Next, wrap your sandpaper around your vase, so that when you do sand down your driftwood, it has a slight bend to it and will lay perfectly on your cylindrical vase.

- 5 -

Sand away! Not too much, just enough to create a flat edge for your hot glue.

- 6 -

This is what my driftwood looked like after sanding.

- 7 -

Run a line of hot glue down the sanded edge (work quickly here), stick it to your vase, and press hard for a few seconds.

- 8 -

Continue steps 5, 6, and 7 until your vase is completely covered!

- 9 -

I took a couple of threads out of a piece of burlap and tied them around to finish the vases, but it looked cute without them too!

- 10 -

Insert your favorite candle, sit back, and enjoy your handy-work!

- I made it first so you can learn…but here’s what I would’ve done differently -

If I were to make some of these candleholders again, I would’ve cut the ends so that they weren’t jagged, but laid flat with whatever surface they were put on. Other than that, they were pretty foolproof and my mom was thrilled with them!

P.S. The folks at World Market totally copied me and are now making their own versions, which look like this…

found | here |

found | here |

Ok World Market, you win.

I originally found the idea for this calendar over | here | and thought it was so fun!  Plus, who doesn’t love these fruit crates from Anthropologie and all the adorable colors they come in?

found | here |

The idea behind this memory calendar is that there is 1 index card for every day of the year, and at the end of each day, you use 1 line to write something fun that you want to remember you did that day! I think each card has around 25 lines, so the point being that if you keep up the calendar, you will have 25 years of memories on a single card! How fun is that?

This project was pretty simple, but time consuming! I bought the larger size of index cards and cut them in half (that’s a lot of cutting, people), then cut the same width, but slightly taller pieces of Kraft paper for the dividers between each month. The stamping was tedious, but not impossible. I chose a soft blue ink and I love the mixture of it with the blue fruit crate and brown Kraft paper.

I gave 1 of these to my sister and another to Ian’s sister (even though she wasn’t a part of Crafty Christmas!) because I love the idea of starting one the same year you start a family, which just so happened to be the case with them.

Woohoo!

This was a fun project to make, fairly inexpensive (the crate was the most expensive thing), and will hopefully lead to remembering lots of fun memories over the years.

- I made it first so you can learn…but here’s what I would’ve done differently -

Honestly, I don’t think there’s much I would change about this project. It would be fun to round the corners on all of the cards, but very time consuming. One thing I did do (that’s not pictured) is cut up an old Paper Source calendar to use as the dividers for one of the calendars. It definitely added a lot more color, but I almost like the way the Kraft paper turned out better. It’s also helpful to include what the calendar is when you give it as a gift. I included a little explanation and then slipped the whole thing into a cellophane bag, tied some baker’s twine around it and called it good.

Be prepared for tears. I think they were tears of joy, but they both cried when I gave it to them. Sorry to make you cry on Christmas :)

Anthropologie makes 2 sizes of these crates, and I used the larger size, but I think the smaller one would work just as well, you’d just have to cut your index cards accordingly.

Hope you guys are enjoy Crafty Christmas week as much as I am! Come back tomorrow for yet another driftwood project and my favorite out of all of them!

I think this was my favorite gift to give, and admittedly, hard to part with! I so badly wanted to be selfish and keep it for myself, but instead it went to my sister and looks darling in her house.
This mirror was a labor of love, and I’m pretty sure there’s about 50 pounds of hot glue on that thing.

Here’s what I did (I’m warning you now that these aren’t very detailed instructions):

- 1 -

I had originally hoped to buy a round mirror at the craft store and then just hot glue the driftwood directly to it, but luckily I found this lovely seashell mirror at TJ Maxx that looked like it’d seen better days. So I bought it for $5 and I’m so thankful I did because it already had the hangers on the back which made it much easier to install.

- 2 -

I used a hammer to bust all of the seashells off of it and this part actually ended up being a lot more time consuming than I was anticipating. Sometimes they came off in big chunks, other times they took the paint with them. Ugh. Let’s just say it wasn’t the easiest process…and I’m still stepping on pieces of seashells…7 months later.

- 3 & 4 -

The finished project! There really was no rhyme or reason to gluing the wood on the frame. I did sand the frame down prior to starting so that the driftwood would hold better, but that’s about it. I did 1 layer all the way around first, then went back and added a second later, and at the end, glued a few random pieces in where it looked necessary.

At the very end I also added a “faux bow”, basically just took a couple scraps of linen from another project so that it looks like that’s what’s holding the mirror.

- I made it first so you can learn…but here’s what I would’ve done differently -

If I were to do this project again (and I really have been meaning to make one for our own home for the past 7 months), I would probably sand down the edges of all the pieces so that they stuck a little better, like I did for the | driftwood candleholder | I would also probably trim down the edges that are closest to the mirror, just so that it looks a little more crisp.

Other than that, I love the way the mirror turned out!

I think this was the easiest of all the gifts I made. It takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and you can vary it quite a bit depending on how wide you cut your strips and what time of fabric you use. I made this first for myself to see how I liked it (I ended up loving it), and then one for my mom and one for my sister-in-law.

This day is kind of a cheater day because I’m pawning you off on the blog I originally found this. I mean, why try to reinvent the wheel, right? Her instructions are perfect, easy to follow, and straight to the point. So head over | here | for the how-to for this ruffle wreath.

I added an extra strip and a bow out of the same material, then hung it above our mantle. Another great thing about this wreath, it’s super forgiving. I had it hanging a littttttle to close to a candle, and the edges got a little burned on a few of the “flowers”, so I just unpinned them, rotated them, and hid the burned section.

Good as new!

Here’s how ours looks:

- I made it first so you can learn…but here’s what I would’ve done differently -

If I were to make this wreath again, I would use wider strips. I like the way the wreath looks with 2-3 inch strips, it just appears more full and abundant. Plus, if they aren’t all exactly the same width, it doesn’t show quite so much when they’re wider.

Hope you guys enjoyed Crafty Christmas! One more day of posts on Monday where I get to show of what I received from my talented mom, sister, and sister-in-law!

Have a great weekend!

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