a pom pom christmas wreath

The last of the Christmas crafts is here. I spent the weeks leading up to Christmas making hundreds of pom poms for this beauty for Ryan’s parents.

pom pom wreath

Begin with a 12 inch wreath, about 300 pom poms (using my tutorial)  and 300 red sewing pens.

Using the sewing pins, place the pom poms on the wreath. Once you’re finished, give it some flair with some glittery doodads. I bought them at Michael’s.

Pom Pom Wreath

And you know, put a bird on it.

quick christmas tree craft

It’s pretty amazing what you can do with some styrofoam glitter balls, a styrofoam cone, and some hot glue.

I saw these glitter balls at the craft store, and knew I wanted to do something with them. I wanted to make two, but they were kind of expensive. Also, it took a surprisingly long time to do all of the gluing, at least an episode and a half of The L Word. 

And I ran out of hot glue! How does that happen? So it got a little wonky at the top as I struggled to use Elmer’s glue to finish it up.

Things I want out of my my NYC neighbors and/or roommate: to at least own a hot glue gun.

Still, it is a nice addition to my holiday corner.

DIY holiday pom pom garland

I’ve had the past few days off of work, and instead of doing responsible things this season like Christmas shopping, cleaning my house, packing, or doing some contract work, I’ve pretty much been indulging in donuts, watching hours of The L Word, and making pom poms. At least I have something to show for it besides an expanding waistline.

d.i.y. holiday garland

So, you’ll need pom poms. I made about 30 using my tutorial, but I found a similar tutorial that uses your hand instead of a fork, which is great, especially if you don’t have a larger fork or are using a curved fork like I was, what a pain.

For the garland you’ll need: a tapestry needle, about thirty pom poms, and a thin yarn.

Thread the tapestry needle with the yarn and pierce the center of the pom pom. You want to make sure you get it through the middle that binds the pom pom together.

I just got them all on the yarn and spaced them out at the end. I thought I’d have to give them a knot to secure them, but they really stay in place.

Then hang them and be festive! I put them over my holiday display bookshelf.

Do you see that picture of Ryan and me? It’s the only one we have framed of each other, and it’s from our first Christmas. Yikes. <3

how to make a pom pom using a fork

I’ve been creating pom poms for the past two weeks to use on various Christmas themed projects. I make them using a really simple technique with yarn and a fork. The tutorial below shows you how it’s done. Also, I created an instructable on this and it made it on the instructable homepage, which was quite the moment of d.i.y. glory.

Supplies:
– fork
–  yarn
– scissors


The pom poms in this tutorial are 1 inch in diamater. I created them using a regular dinner fork. If you want to make larger pom poms, you’ll need a bigger fork, like a salad fork. The image below shows the difference in pom pom size.

 Step 1: Wrap your fork

Keeping the yarn attached to the ball, begin wrapping the yarn around your fork. It’s just like wrapping spaghetti. Keep your wraps tight.

For small pom poms, wrap the yarn around the dinner fork about twenty times. For larger pom poms, wrap the yarn around a larger fork around fifty times. You can play around with the size and shape of the pom pom by varying the number of wraps. The more you wrap it, the fuller it will be.

If you want all of your pom poms to come out the same size, be sure to wrap them all around the same number of times.

Step 2: Tying Off

When you’ve finished wrapping, cut the yarn on the fork and hold it in place. Cut another piece of yarn a few inches long. String this piece through the bottom of the fork, under the wrap, from front to back. Keep the yarn behind the wrap.

Once you’ve threaded it through, bring the yarn back around so the two ends meet. Then tie them together.

Step 3: Pulling it off the fork

Once you’ve tied it, push the wrap off of the fork, keeping the tie in place.

When the wrap is off the fork, pull the bow tight, so that the yarn begins to curl. Tie it one more time just to secure everything.

Step 4: Cutting the wrap

Now, take your scissors and put them under the little loops created in the rounded ball of yarn. As you cut the loops, you’ll see the pom pom begin to form.

Once you’ve cut all of the loops, go around the pom pom and cut any pieces of yarn that may be sticking out too far. Make sure the pom pom symmetrical.

 

Finished!

Yay! You’ve done it. These things take just a few seconds to make and create excellent cat toys.

This week I’ll be posting a few tutorials showing how I’m using these in my holiday decorations. Stay tuned.

DIY Potato Stamp Holiday Cards

Spend some time this weekend making your own holiday cards. My friends and I got together for our annual craft night where we listened to Belle & Sebastian Christmas music, drank spiked wassail, and of course, used lots of glitter.

The best thing to come out of tonight was discovering one of Ryan’s hidden talents. It turns out he’s fantastic at carving potato stamps. He made all of the stamps. We made ginger bread, candy canes, Christmas trees, and light bulbs. What do you think?

DIY-Christmas-Card-2

DIY-Christmas-Card-1

DIY-Christmas-Card-3

DIY-Christmas-Card-4

DIY-Christmas-Card-6

I hope I’ve inspired you to make your own. The potato stamps are pretty simple. Just cut a potato in half, pick a shape, and start carving. I’d think about tracing out your shape first, just to get a feel for the size and everything. But Ryan just took a parring knife and went at it, and they turned out fine. We stamped with plain old acrylic paint.

Oh, and the best card of the evening goes to my friend Bryan, who made a Mayan/2012/End of Times Christmas Card.

DIY-Christmas-Card-7

 

He totally cracks me up. Here’s the inside of that card.

DIY-Christmas-Card-8

 

Tonight was such a perfect Tallahassee night to spend with friends.

Mustache Cross-Stitch Fun

Does this still count for a No-Shave-November project? Ok. So, I swear I finished this project by November 30th, but I am only now getting around to it.

Mustaches

Let’s not bring up that this was Ryan’s Christmas present from last year, and I’m just now getting around to finishing it.

I am beginning to think cross-stitching is my niche in the world of thread/yarn crafts. I can actually read the patterns (that’s right, I’m talking to you, knitting), and the projects are generally on a smaller scale, which means I can actually finish them, even if it takes a year.

Mustache

These patterns were quick to complete and are going to make a fun decoration in Ryan’s apartment. You can purchase these patterns at the andwabisabi cross-stitch etsy store, which is filled with tons of super cute holiday themed cross-stitch patterns.

celebrate no-shave november with mustache lollipops

We’re already at the end of November, can you believe it? Ryan and I finished up the last of the tofurkey today. I thought a great way to celebrate was with these rad chocolate mustache lollipops.

No-shave November is a awesome concept, all the boys walk around with beards and they all look cute. For those of us who can’t quite grow the facial hair to make your momma proud, there’s always this chocolate substitute.

I used two of these mustache lollipop molds and this craft took like, five minutes. Bonus.

Here are the supplies: candy melts, lollipop molds, and decorating bags. You’ll also need lollipop sticks (not pictured).SuppliesFill a decorating bag about 3/4 full of chocolates.

Bag of Chocolate

Melt the chocolates in a microwave on medium heat for 15 – 30 seconds at a time. Pull the bag out of the microwave and give it a nice knead each time it’s done warming. It will only need to go in the microwave a few times at this temperature. These things get hot really fast, so be sure not to over-heat them.

Melt in Microwave

Once the bag is thoroughly melted, cut the tip off of the bag to begin fill the molds. Place a lollipop stick in each of the molds. Slowly squeeze the melted chocolate into the molds, making sure to fill in all of the crevices. I found pumping the bag up and down in the mold helped remove air bubbles.

Fill Molds

Be sure to cover all around the lollipop stick. Once you’ve filled the molds, smooth out the backs with a flat surface.

Smooth Backs

Also, clear away any chocolate that may have spilled over to the edge.

Backs of lollipops

I popped them in the fridge for 10 minutes to let them harden. Then I took them out and wrapped them in little baggies.

Lollipops

These lollipops were such a hit with my friends and co-workers. Everyone loved making funny faces with them, like these:

The one in which I look like my dad.

Me with Mustache

The one in which I’ve lost my monocle.

Me with Mustaches

The one in which I try not to take myself too seriously.

Me with Mustaches

Happy No-Shave November, Friends!

 

upcycled jar lid pumpkin

jar-lid-pumpkin1-2

I saw this canning jar lid pumpkin and knew I had to make one. Ryan and I have tons of jar lids lying around. I really love how simple this craft was. If you’re short on time, it can only take about three minutes.

Take a piece of ribbon or string and lace it through all of the lids. Ensure all of the lids are facing the same way. Tie off at the end.

Jar-Lid-Pumpkin-2

 

I used a few cinnamon sticks as a stem. If you’re looking to spend a little bit more time on this craft, you can give the lids a paint of coat. Well, actually it took three, if you’re using water-based acrylic paints. Wait an hour between coats.

Painted Lid Pumpkin

I wrapped it with some brown ribbon and used a drop of hot glue to secure the ribbon. This craft took between 25-33 lids.

What do you think? It’s great for Thanksgiving decorating.

Pin it here!

DIY-Jar-Lid-Pumpkins

Easter egg hunt! {a roundup}

I’m trying to convince my friends to let me host an Easter egg hunt for adults. I live in a place that mostly resembles Ewok Village, and it would be the best for hiding eggs. My friends are not entirely sold on the idea, but maybe if I throw in some booze and an endless supply of egg salad sandwiches, I can get them to join in.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite Easter egg decorating ideas.

Bluebird Egg from Reader’s Digest via The Decorated Cookie

Crocheted Easter Eggs from Mom On Timeout

Temporary Tattooed Easter Eggs via SwissMiss

And these are my absolute favorite.

embroidered eggsEmbroidered Eggs from Design Sponge

Also, last year’s Easter Egg roundup.

And these Cadbury Cream Egg Cookie Cups. I died. No, really.

DIY magnetic spice rack

Christmas is a weird time for me and Ryan. We have yet to spend a Christmas together, so gift giving isn’t usually priority for us. Like, it’s March, and I still haven’t finished Ryan’s gift. I’m hoping this will be the month, though, because I can’t wait to show you.

This year, Ryan gave me the best gift – a magnetic spice rack. He’s been meaning to give me this gift on numerous occasions for about a year (he’s had it in his house the entire time!). And two and a half months later, I eventually set it up.

This magnetic spice rack is the best thing ever.

First, some background. I have this eyesore sitting in my kitchen.

circuit breaker

Seriously, who puts a circuit breaker in the middle of the kitchen? And then there was this  hell.

spices

This is my over-crowded spice cabinet. I couldn’t reach or see anything. I’m on my tip-toes just trying to take this picture.

He used this instructable for creating the canisters. He bought the canisters from here and the magnets from here. These are the canisters. He glued some strong magnets to the back.

To make them pretty you will need fun stickers or labels. You can also use white labels and decorate them yourself.

My best friend gave me the crafty stickers. They’re the best. You’ll also need some fun colored markers.

markers

If your label is too long you can cut it to fit the canister.

canister with long label

Press the label on the lid and run your fingernail along the edge to seal the sticker in. Then take a knife, follow along the edge and slice through the sticker.

cut with knife

cut label

Then gently pull up on the sticker.

pull up label

fitted label

This was the first one I did. With practice, I was able to get rid of the frayed edge look. You can also use your fingernail to push the frayed label into the seam of the lid.

spice with label

The canisters look great in my kitchen. You can decorate them so many ways.

spices with labels

Here’s the finished product. I’m so in love with it.

magnetic spice rack

Sorry the glare is so bad in my kitchen.

magnetic spice rack

Looking at this makes me so happy. <3