Monthly Archives: December 2013

Check Those Boxes!

Check Those Boxes!

Last week, we added some trees to our holiday decor. This week, how about some pretty boxes?

We’ve got gift boxes:altered gift boxes

And advent calendars:customized advent calendar

And gift boxes masquerading as ornaments:ornament box

All of these projects started the same, with either a papier-mâché box or an altoid tin. They were then painted, and covered with paper. For the advent calendar, I measured pieces of paper to fit the boxes, but for the other boxes, I tore paper and layered it on the form. Mod Podge works great as a paper adhesive and sealer, but plain old white glue will also work.

Once you’ve got the papers layered to your liking, add a few embellishments, and you’re done. This is a fun and easy project, although you will get messy, so protect your work surface and your clothes. The amount of time it takes depends upon how many layers or pieces you’re using, and how elaborate you make your box, as well as the amount of adhesive you use.

A couple close ups for you:

altered altoid tin

advent calendar

Do you make altered gift boxes? Have any interesting ones you want to share? Link it up in the comments!


A Trio of Trees

A Trio of Trees

As a scrapbooker, it’s practically a must to create at least some of your own holiday decor. Creating your own decorations is a great way to use up some of that must have stash you’ve been hoarding, and it’s inexpensive enough that you can adapt it or switch it out for other items each year, without breaking the bank.

Let’s start with my personal favorite: the Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree trio

These started out as plain styrofoam cones, with small styrofoam balls as toppers. You can find them in the floral section of any craft store. You’ll also need some short ball head pins, an adhesive sealer like mod podge, and some paint and inexpensive brushes. A glue gun or dimensional adhesive like diamond glaze or glossy accents is also helpful. Oh, and don’t forget paper and buttons!

collage tree

This tree was made using scraps of paper, torn into pieces, and then misted with a walnut ink to darken them up a bit. They were VERY pink to begin with. (I don’t know if you know this, but I’m not a huge fan of pink. Small doses of pink are nice. Not so much on my holiday decor. I prefer a more traditional color scheme.)

I then used an inexpensive brush and coated the back of each scrap with antique gold mod podge, adhered it to the cone, and added another layer of mod podge on top of the scrap. I repeated that with the rest of the scraps, trying to keep a good variety of colors next to each other, and not repeating colors on adjoining scraps.

button tree

For the button tree, my youngest and I just filled in the space as tightly as we could with buttons that we adhered with small ball head pins. You don’t want them to be too long, because then they’ll poke out the other side. (Owie!) As you can see, there are spots where the foam shows between buttons. That doesn’t bother me, but if it bothers you, try covering your cone with paint first.

paper strips tree

For this tree, cut a whole bunch of paper strips about half an inch wide by four inches. Fold it in half without creasing, and pin it onto the cone. Start on the bottom, and work you way up, making sure the end of each piece hides the pins for the lower strips. When you get to the top, if you have any extra length, just trim it off.

All of these trees were then finished off with a styrofoam ball painted with silver acrylic paint, and hot glued onto the top of the cone.

Do you have any simple trees you’d like to share? Link them up in the comments below!


Getting in the December Groove

Getting in the December Groove

We made it through November, and made a card every day! Aren’t you impressed?

You should be. I’m exhausted! All that stamping and writing just about wore me out! 😉

But seriously, let’s talk December plans, shall we?

Did you know that this blog was launched last December? Yep. We’re approaching our first birthday! And did you also know that MY birthday is in December? Yep. And with Christmas coming too, I think a little gift giving will be in order this month.

But let’s not spoil the surprise, shall we? Let’s just say that since I’m turning 44, and there are 4 days between Christmas and my birthday, there ought to be four presents, right?

So what are your plans for crafting this December? I have a December book I put together, but I’ve already managed to not take a picture every day this week. What can I say? I do not live with camera in hand. (And exactly how interesting is laundry? Cos that was the extent of the excitement around here yesterday.)

I’ve got an idea for a simple scrappy present for my family, but other than possibly re-arranging my craft room, I don’t have a lot of plans for the month. Unless you count finishing up those presents I mentioned. If you count that, then I’ve got a LOT to do. 😉

So please do share what you’ve got planned for the month, so I can live vicariously through you!

December, here we come!