Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cinnamon Stick Ornament

I was in my kitchen the other day with a container of cinnamon sticks tucked away in our dilapidated lazy susan (one day I will write about that) and thought, hey, I can make something out of these guys. Lo and behold, I did.


There's something about cinnamon sticks that are just so darn cute! They smell incredible, especially this festive time of year, and have those little curls on either end that would rival Cindy Lou Who's coif. Like snowflakes, each one is different from the next.. okay, not dramatically so, but still. 

I started to piece together cinnamon sticks in a tree-like pattern, topping it off with none other than star anise. Of course!! No cinnamon Christmas tree would be complete with out one. But wait, there's more. All Spice decided to make an entrance not too far into this crafting project and wedged themselves right into the nooks of the "tree". It was coming together rather nicely, like a Bob Ross painting, minus happy clouds, but this was certainly a happy tree.  

The tree stump is made from a fallen-apart cinnamon stick and I turned it backwards. No tree would be complete without garland or some sort of string adorning it. So, I tried this one on for size. It was actually pretty nice. All it needed were glimmering lights strung from top to bottom and I do believe it would've been a sight to see. 

Want to try your hand at it? Here's what you need:
  • Cinnamon Sticks, cut into various sizes. 
  • Star Anise
  • String/Ribbon
  • All Spice (optional)
  • Glue Gun

Begin by piecing the tree together. I even took separate pieces to make one long piece of the tree. Once everything is in place, glue away. 

 Feel free to get fancy and whip out the glitter. I'm sure that would look awesome on the star itself! In these parts, glitter is a little dangerous since it never actually leaves the surfaces of our house... including my baby boy's face. 

Have fun stringing along the fun!!! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Marshmallow Garland

Ever want to climb up a string of marshmallow garland and see what's at the top? Well, my daughter has done just that the last few days, but instead of climbing she's been chewing her way.. or at least trying.

My love affair began on Pinterest and it was instantaneous. Check it out: 

If its good enough for Anthro, its good enough for me!
I'd like to pull up a chair or two.
Love the lights with this.
Snow clouds!
Seriously, how freaking cute! I'm all about the whimsy on this side of the snowcaps and I decided these haaaaaaaad to go in our kitchen window. I wake up each morning with a hot cup of tea and I look out on these little fellas and I'm in a state of bliss. That is, until my kids wake up and my crazy day begins. 

I couldn't really find a DIY tutorial on this or maybe I didn't try hard enough. I decided to wing it and wave my wand twirl my thread. Here's what I came up with, as with everything I do, its cheap and easy. Wait, that didn't sound right.  

Things you'll need:

  • A bag of marshmallows (I dried out a few bags just in case)
  • Thread (used a light color that was on my sewing machine)
  • Patience - lots of it, especially if you have a three year old wanting in on the action. In this case, you'll notice your marshmallows slowly disappearing.
First things first. You MUST dry the marshmallows out a week beforehand to ensure they harden and dry out. Otherwise, you'll be forced to work with puffs that are mushy and sticky and not very thread-friendly. Trust me, take the week and dry them out. I laid them out on cookie sheets and placed them into our garage. They were safe from night critters and kids. 

One week later: I got out my thread and tied it around each marshmallow. Since I didn't want a precise layout, I decided to make some shorter with less marshmallows and others with longer pieces of string and more on them. 

I was going to opt for the route of inserting a toothpick or needle through the middle, but even after a week of drying out, they were still sticky in the middle and a nightmare to work with. This was MUCH easier! 

My sort of finished product.

Its always (fake) snowing when I look out of this window!

And yes, I'm sure I get strange looks from the neighbors.

This is a total work in progress, as are most projects these days. Its tough to finish things with my little entourage pulling at my legs, but this is good enough for now. Now all you need is to queue up "Marshmallow World"and the scene is set. It is indeed "a marshmallow world in winter, a time for play and a whipped cream day. I do wait for it the whole year 'round."

LOVE IT and I hope you do too!!!!! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Banner DIY

Nothing says WELCOME quite like the look of a whimsical banner overhead. 

The (SIMPLE) finished product
I've seen these banners ALL over the place in Blogville. Not knowing how to create my own, I just winged it and used this blog as a guide: My son is sleeping, so that means its mommy's time to play. SO, I decided to be artsy this morning and create something I've wanted to do for so long... with my little helper of course. By the way, a great project for the little ones!

My theme was Christmas, since the holidays are upon us and its just absolutely the most wonderful time of the year. I whipped out my load of craft paper, which I'm totally obsessed with collecting. My hoarder skills in this area come in very handy when making something such as this. Cost of project? Zero!

My collection, unorganized and all over the place

Here's what you'll need:
  • Craft Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • String
  • Hole Puncher
..and if you have little children helping, some serious clean-up skills

To kick off our banner, I measured five inches along the top of the paper and drew a triangle. The length of this was about six inches, give or take. As you can see, this is not a perfect shape - - no worries though, its homemade and fabulous! I've seen tutorials that use a measuring pad (which I think is also used with sewing projects), but since I don't have that I used my kitchen floor as a guide for the straight lines. Even with that, the end product was a bit crooked charming.

For each triangle, I cut it a second time with the same paper/design, since I wanted the back of the banner to be the same as well. Once I did that, I pasted the backs on to the front. This also made it a bit thicker which was nice.

Looks like pizza!

Like seven colorful little soldiers all lined up

Once I figured out the color order, I cut my string and punched holes into the triangles. My string was long enough for the space I needed, in this case, along the ceiling in our entryway. I decided to go with SEVEN triangles to spell out 'Welcome', but did not get to that part today. I just wanted that banner up! 

As you see, I punched two holes on either side of each triangle. Easy peasy. No method to this, I just punched away. This part was fun and strangely therapeutic. I know, I'm a total craft geek! 

As for string, I cut two lengths and weaved them into the holes. It actually made it thicker to latch the paper onto which was beneficial for having them stay in place. The weaving went like this for each one: back, front, back front. Just repeat this for each cut-out.  

Now you're ready to hang it up. I liked doing this since it took no time at all and unlike many of my projects, didn't sit there for days (weeks/months...years) waiting to be touched again! 

A colorful and unique way to enter our home and my daughter LOVES it!!!!! Speaking of hanging, I could do just that all day in this space... but it is an entrance after all.  

You can always switch out the colors based on the seasons as well, like changing outfits to suit your mood. 

What do you think?