Grape Vine Wreath Snowman

How adorable is this snowman made out of grape vine wreaths!  This idea has been around for awhile, but he is so simple to make and fun to add your own personal touches too!  He can hang from your front door or hang him inside.  Even quicker, make him out of green wreaths.

Materials:

  • 1 18″ grape vine wreath
  • 2 12″ grape vine wreaths
  • Foam black hat
  • Red felt 56” long by 8” wide ( about 1/4 yard)
  • 2 Bells 1 1/2″
  • 1 Bell 1″
  • 1 1/2″ Red ribbon for hat about 14” long
  • 3/8” Silver ribbon (about 1 yard)
  • Black wire or black pipe cleaner
  • 3 white pipe cleaners or wire
  • 1 red pipe cleaner
  • 2 silver plastic 2 1/2″ ornaments for “buttons”
  • 1 can White spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Optional: bird for top of hat, 4 snowflake picks, holy pick for side of hat

Directions:

The first and second wreaths are both 12″ in size, however I did look through all the wreaths to find one smaller than the other!!

Start by spray painting white all 3 wreaths.  You can leave them natural or even use green wreaths, it’s all about the look you want.  While the wreaths are drying, cut the foam black hat in half.  I found this hat at Michaels ($3.99 without coupon).

  

Once the paint is dry, lay out the smaller 12″, the other 12” and then the 18” wreath, with white pipe cleaners attach them together (12″, 12″ 18″).  With a black pipe cleaner or wire, attach the hat to the top of the wreath.  The wire or pipe cleaner easily pushes through the foam hat, and around the wreath.

   

With a white pipe cleaner or wire make a hanger, under the hat on the wreath, this will give a hanger for a door hook or nail.  Wrap ribbon around the hat and add a holy pick.

   

At this point I think it is easier to work on him hanging up, slide him on a door hang!  Add the bird to the top of the hat.

For the scarf I’m using red felt, but if I had a holiday scarf I would have used it!  Cut the felt 56″ long (longer if you like) by 8″ wide, cut “fringe” on each end.  Lay out the scarf and fold over each side, this way you will not see any raw edges!  Now wrap scarf around the snowman and just loop it on, it’s too thick to make a full knot!

   

String all 3 bells onto a red pipe cleaner, then wrap bells around scarf and tie onto wreath, keeping the scarf and bells in place.

   

Slide plastic (silver) ornament onto 3/8” silver ribbon, slide one end of the ribbon through wreath, tie ends in a bow and let the ornament hang down.  Tie ornament/ribbon on the other wreath…how cut are the snowman buttons!!

Add a few snowflake picks.

   

Done!!

The wreaths were about $4.88 each (without a coupon!!), 1/4 of a yard of red felt $1, foam hat $3.99 (without a coupon), bells $1, holiday picks (4 snowflakes, 1 bird, 1 holy) on sale $2.50 and spray paint from Home Depot under $2, I had the ribbon and pipe cleaners!  Using coupons with Snowman cost under $15.00.

Frosted Glass Candle Holder

A can of Frosted Glass spray paint, stickers, decorative punches, and a glass vase or recycled jar, the possibilities are endless!

Materials:

  • Frosted Glass spray paint
  • Glass vase, candle holder, glass jar
  • Stickers
  • Decorative punches

Directions:

I’m using two sizes of snowflake punches.  Punch out the stickers and firmly place on outside of the glass piece and spray with Frosted Glass (outside) let dry and remove the stickers!

 

This one I just used the round stickers!

I wanted to make a stripped vase using masking tape, but my tape was too old, so I used rubber bands!

I think my oil bottle has a new life as a vase!

This is a vary inexpensive project, the spray I purchased from Jo Anns with a 50% off coupon for about $3.00 and sprayed four different pieces, (I had the stickers and the snowflake punches), Micheal’s had the glass candle holder/vase on sale $2.50!

 

Beaded Serving Spoons

Add some sparkle and fun to your serving spoons, dip spoons and spreaders!  These are so much fun to make, and add the personal touch to any party!  They make a great gift.

Materials:

  • 16 gauge aluminum Jewelry Wire
  • Spoon
  • Beads different sizes
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers

Directions:

Double check your beads to make sure they will slide on to the 16 gauge wire.  Pick a spoon or spreader, you want to choose one that is not to decorative, you will be covering it with beads.  If you choose a sterling silver piece once the wire and beads are on it will be very hard to polish!  Bed, Bath and Beyond have serving pieces from $2 to $9, bring a coupon!

The  aluminum jewelry wire bends easily and is very easy to work with.  The pliers will leave marks, so I use double stick tape to tape down a little strip of felt.

Cut a piece of wire about 18” long (the length will depend on how many times you wrap and the number of beads), with the needle nose pliers, gently start to form a circle.  Place on the top center of spoon and wrap tightly 3 times with your fingers.

   

You want to keep the wire tight and close together.  Slide on a bead, with your finger or with pliers, gently bend the wire down the center.  With your fingers push bead into place and hold.

  

Holding the bead in place, start wrapping 2 to 3 times in the opposite direction, add more beads and wrap.

  

Remember you want to wrap the wire tight.  End with another circle swirl.  When wrapping check the back, to make sure the wire is straight.

  

When making your designs, you want to wrap the wire 2 to 3 times between each bead.

  

Note: beaded wired spoons and spreaders should be hand washed, not in dishwasher.

 

Pine Cone Deer

How cute are these little deers!  Just pine cones, sticks and glue, add a red pom pom nose or a jingle bell, couldn’t be easier.  The kids will love helping find the perfect pine cones and sticks!!

Materials:

  • Pine cones different sizes, and not broken or too old
  • Sticks and branches for legs and antlers
  • Glue: Hot glue or any strong holding clear glue
  • Scissors and or small branch clippers
  • Optional: gloves, bells, ribbon, small ornaments, small birds, red pom poms

Directions:

Time for a pine cone hunt,  you do want to be picky picking your pine cones!  You do not want them too old, falling apart or broken, you also want different sizes, I like the head to be smaller than the body!  For the legs and antlers, I cut a branch from one the oak trees (it needed to come down), and cut the ends for the branches for the antlers and the thicker straighter branches for the legs.  I did let them dry out for about 2 days!  If you are using branches that have fallen to the ground, check to make use they are still in good shape, not too old!

  My box of branches….ready to go!

For the legs you want them some what straight, and the same size (thickness) for all 4 legs.  Cut off any small branches off.  Do not cut them too short, wait and cut them to the size of your deer pine cone, mine were  4” to 4/12″ long!

Have different sizes and shapes of end branches for the antlers.

Match up the pine cones, find the pair that look the best together.  I like the head (pine cone) smaller than the body.

You may need to wear gloves, then gluing!  I using hot glue, it’s just quicker, but if the kids want to help (please be careful using hot glue around children) but if they are willing to hold the pieces together while the glue sets…why not (try Weldbond glue)! For the deer body, as you see in the picture above, the head (pine cone) goes one way, the smaller end is the nose, and the body (pine cone) the other way.  Find the best spot for both pine cones, where you can push them together and get a good hold, now that you have a good spot, pull them apart and glue, hold in place until glue has set.

See how the two pine cones are pushed down together.

For the legs, before you glue, find just the right spot, 2 for front legs and 2 back legs.  Cut the leg branch to the right size and glue ( about 4” to 4 1/2” long).

    

Make sure your deer can stand on it’s own!

Now for the antlers, pick 2 branches, and fit them to the top of the larger end of pine cone, pushing into pine cone for a good fit. Make sure the antlers do not make the deer top heavy, if the deer falls over, the antlers are to large and or too heavy.  Now glue antlers into pine cone.

   

Done…now maybe a red pom pom nose, tie on a jingle bell or small ornament!

 

How about silver spray paint!

     

Maybe add a little bird in a nest, and jingle bell.

       

Are you inspired!

 

Paper and Bead Ornaments

So fun and fast to make these beautiful balls using decorative paper punches!  Every year I like to have a “girls” holiday party, and what would a party be without a party favor, these are this years party favor!

Or maybe a bowl of the flower balls to match your decorator!

 

Materials:

  • Decorative punch (I using a flower punch)
  • Card stock paper
  • Glass seed beads in coordinating colors
  • Sequin pins: gold or silver
  • Smooth foam balls, your choice of size I’m using 2″ and 3″ balls
  • Acrylic paint for the foam balls
  • Paint brush
  • Optional: for hanger, eye pins or wire,  fishing line, ribbon or string, Tacky glue

Directions:

I do think it is best to use the smooth foam balls!  Start by deciding on your colors, and paint the foam balls.  I find it easy and fast to stick a tooth pick into the ball, paint it and then stick into foam sheet or card board box to dry (the tooth pick hole will be covered with a flowers)!   You do want a good coat of paint, but remember you will be covering with flowers!

While the balls are drying, start punching, and punching and punching.  I tried to count when I was making a 3″ ball, it was around 80 flowers and it will depend on how close together you put them.  Since I was making about 75 covered balls, I just punched each of the colors I wanted to use and put them in bags, when I ran out of that color I just punched more!

I found the Sequin pins from Jo Anns for 99 cents for 300 and of course I used a coupon!  But any thin straight pin will work, you just have to make sure the seed bead will slide on and stay on!

Pick your seed bead color and slide one bead on the pin and stick on a flower. Now I just pushed it right into the ball, but you could dip the end of the pin in Tacky glue if you felt like it needed it.

Since I was making sooo many, I found it easier to sit and watch TV 🙂 and slide on the bead and flower and make a bowl full and then put them on the balls!

I also found that if the card stock was super thick (like some of the heavy glitter ones from Micheal’s) they were too hard to punch and way to hard to push a pin through….just thought you should know!

Remember it’s up to you on how close together to put the flowers, it gives you a different look when the flowers are on top of each other!  If you do not do the pin gluing, it’s no problem to move the flower pin around, which you might need to when you are fitting in the last ones!

To make a hanger, I’m using an eye pin (which is used to make jewelery) but works great for this project or you can use wire. First slide the seed bead on, then the a flower and dip the end of the pin in Tacky Glue and push into ball!  Tie fishing line or ribbon on and hang your ornament!

Here is tip, I found that Velum paper works great (I used velum paper for the snowflake balls, second picture from the top) and it’s a beautiful look, it comes in colors like red, gold and silver!

Think about a different shape of punch, hearts, snowflakes, two different sizes of flowers…what shapes do you have!

I also love them just in a large glass bowl!  A fun and inexperience way to add color and or texture to your coffee table?

Did you know you can get the foam in an oval egg shape….Easter eggs how much fun!

How about making a topiary, one (or two) large ball covered with flowers, use a ribbon wrapped wood dowel as the stem, and placed in any vase or pot!  So pretty for a baby shower or bridal shower center piece.

 

Beaded Ornaments

If you like a little extra sparkle on your Christmas tree, you’ll love these beaded ornaments!  This is the perfect ornament to make and take to an ornament exchange, and you will be the hit of the party!

Materials:

  • Glass seed beads and or glass bugle beads
  • Glass or plastic Christmas ornaments (any size)
  • Glue: Mosaic Mercantile (mosaic tile adhesive) or Weldbond glue or any type of glue for glass
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Shoe box top
  • Optional acrylic paint, ribbon

Directions:

Let’s talk glue first, Tacky Glue will work but will not give the holding power that a glass glue will.  Mosaic Mercantile is found in some craft stores and on line this is my favorite for this project, Weldbond is easily found in the store.  I have been making these beaded ornaments for about five years and the beads are still holding strong!  Now your first thought is just to put glue on the ornament and roll in the beads, ok that will work but will not give you a smooth single layer of beads, you will end up with a lot of beads glued together and a mess!

I found that working a small area at a time (and with some patience) the results are beautiful.  Trust me it’s worth the time.  You can use glass or plastic ornaments, I like to buy them after Christmas when they are marked down 50 to 75% off!  And it will not matter what color you buy, you can paint them with acrylic paint!  So if you buy purple ornaments paint them a new color first.

I like to cover the top cap (the hanger) with bugle beads (they are the long thin bead), but that’s me!  If you are not going to do this, glue the top cap on to the ornament.  Or wrap cap with silver or gold ribbon and glue in place!

Run a line around the cap, and place a bugle bead in glue one at a time.  Let dry.

         

Now that the top is dry, we are going to start gluing on the beads, working in small areas at a time.  The reason for this is the glue  is very sticky, so to get the smooth single layer, working in small areas and letting it dry before moving on to next area, will have the best results.

You might have noticed in the list of materials I have a shoe box top, I use it as my bead catcher!  The glass beads can bounce off (all over the floor) if you don’t keep them contained.  When I’m finished with the beads I just pour them from the box into a baggy!

Place a layer of glue 2” by 2” (small area at time) on your ornament and sprinkle or pour on the beads, gently tap off the lose ones.  With your finger or finger nail, gently pat them in place, add more if you did not get a solid coverage.  I like to hang the ornament on a pipe cleaner to dry.

    

The goal is to have a single layer of beads, so when dry it feels smooth!

    

Keep going until totally covered.

It’s easy to make designs with the beads, using the bugle bead to create a swirl and then filled in with seed beads.  Run a line of glue in a swirl or “S” shape, and place a bugle bead on one at a time.  Again glue a few “S” shapes at time, let dry and do more.  If your glue line is to thick, do not worry, the seed beads will cover up the glue.

When totally dry, add 3 green seed beads to each end of the “S” shape, and fill in with seeds beads.

If you are like me, you will want to make more than one at a time.  I find working on 4 to 6 at a time, you can keep working, by the time you finish one, another will be dry, keep going and you will have finished all them!

Seed beads and bugle bead come in so many colors, which means endless possibilities!

  

  

 

  

They look stunning on a Christmas tree, and beautiful displayed in a dish or bowl.

  

I also beaded small 1″ ornaments, and hung them from white glittered branches for a unique center piece.

For added fun, I like to make wire hooks in a “S” shape using 14 gauge colored wire!

Hope your Christmas sparkles this year!!

 

Beaded Wire Cross Ornament

Believe it or not these beaded cross ornaments are easy and inexpensive to make.  You can take this simple idea to form any shape with wire and then wrap in beads, maybe a star, heart, candy cane or Christmas tree!

Materials:

  • Seed beads
  • Wire cutters
  • 26 gauge wire
  • 20 gauge wire (for the cross shape)
  • Paper for shape pattern
  • Optional: 18 gauge wire for hanger

Directions:

I made about 50 of these ornaments (for party favors)  I wanted them all the same size, so I made a pattern.  By drawing out the size I wanted on paper, made it so easy for all my crosses to be the same size!

Using 20 gauge wire to form the cross shape, I started with a small loop on one end (this will be the top for hanging the ornament) made my cross shape by twisting the wire around its self and ending back at the top, finishing by wrapping the wire around and around, cutting off what I did not need.  My cross is 4 1/2″ long by 2″ wide, I cut a piece of wire 18″  to 20″ to make this size cross.

Now that the cross form is made it’s time to bead.  I love using the 26 gauge wire, it is so easy to work with.  Jo Anns carries this wire in all colors, it is permanently colored copper wire by Darice 30 yards for about $2.50 (bring a coupon!) so it goes a long way!  For this size of cross you do want to use glass seed beads 10g size (they are the small ones) and these beads come in all colors!  Again Jo Anns carries them in small packages for about $1.00 to $1.50 (coupon!) and the beads go a long way.  Bottom line, this is an inexpensive project!

Cut a long piece of the 26 gauge wire, not too long as it will make it hard to work with and you can add more wire along the way!  I like to start at the top, wrapping the wire around the wire cross,  string on a few beads and start wrapping the beads around.  I like to work the beads down then back up, this makes it easy to fill in an area that may need more beads.

Remember it you run out of wire, you can add more.  simply wrap a new piece of wire around the form and keep going.

I have wrapped just one layer of beads, so it would not be too thick!

I love the look, with some of the wire showing, remember the wire comes in colors!  You can use red wire for different look, I like the color Gun Metal.

For an added touch I made hooks from  18 gauge wire, just a simple ‘S’ shape and this wire comes in colors also!

Oh the possibilities!!

This one I add just a few larger red beads!

 

Just an idea, tie a beaded cross on a gift box or bag!!

Or in a shadow box frame!

 

Teacher Gifts

Teachers play an important role in all our lives, let them know how much they are appreciated!   I have put together a few ideas for fun simple ways to let a teacher know you care.  I hope this will inspire you, and remember it’s the thought that counts!

Get the kids to pick out and help put together  “I’m thinking of you” gift!  All are inexpensive  ideas, why not make a small something each month?

What teacher wouldn’t love a bunch of flowers…pens!  All you need is a pen with removable top, a flower (or two!) small piece of felt and glue (hot glue)!

This is my trick to make a fast pen flower: first remove the green plastic back and cut off the piece sticking out.   Add a little glue to the center of the flower to hold in place.

.

Cut a small piece of felt (I like black to match the pen top), long enough to go around the pen top, and then make a few small cuts 4 to 5.  Glue felt to pen top (I like hot glue, it’s just so much faster!).

With hot glue, glue the pen top to the flower and done!

 

The large paper clips are a great gift idea for any time of the year, I found them to be a fun gift for just before spring break.  I found a box of large paper clips at the Dollar Store and used small pieces of ribbon that I had in my craft box!

This is my favorite way to give a teacher a gift card, could be for Teacher Appreciation Week or just because.  The large “paper clips’ I found in Michaels for $1.oo (I used a coupon, so that make it about 60 cents), add ribbon and one of my singed edge flower!  You can also make this same idea and use a small wooden close pen! You could even put a magnet on the back.

An other idea that can be give at different times of the year, just by changing the saying, these adorable candy filled paper towel rolls!  Cut the roll to the size you like, cover with wrapping paper or scrap book paper, I like adding a little shredded paper to each end, fill with Tootsie Roll candy,  roll clear wrap (from the Dollar Store) around and tie ends with ribbon and tie on your note

…Rolling into a great school year!

…Rolling into a new year!

…Rolling to the end!

…I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you! 🙂

What teacher doesn’t love Halloween, so make a pumpkin filled with candy!  Glass or plastic jars can be recycled into a pumpkin by pouring orange acrylic paint INTO the jar coating the inside with paint, turn upside down to let some paint drain out and turn over to let dry (1 to 2 days).  Cut black felt for eyes, nose and mouth, glue in place. Fill a clear bag with candy and tie with a ribbon and place into the pumpkin.  I spray paint the jar top green, I think the pumpkin looks great either way!  For extra Halloween fun a wire spider on top of the candy!  These wire spiders are easy to make, check out my tutorial.

Woo woo wouldn’t like getting this adorable brown bag owl!  Fold over top into a triangle, cut, glue eyes, nose, wings, and tummy, he can be filled with any special treat.

“Thanks for making me wiser!”

A water bottle with a single serve tea mix attached is the perfect gift any time….”For a Tea-riffic teacher”.

So simple and yummy, fold a pretty piece of paper around your mint chocolate square (or any type of mint candy), tape candy inside, note on outside and punch a small hole on top for a ribbon to hold it closed…..i “mint” to tell you how much I appreciate you!”

Clear frame, post-it, and Sharpie from the Dollar Store with some pretty paper(s), you have this great note stand.  I did use sticky velcro to attach the post-it, and double stick tape for the ribbon!

Big kisses to a teacher!  Using a funnel as your form, fill with rice crispy treat mixture (or maybe coco rice crispy and add chocolate chips) then wrap in foil and add a little heart!

So simple but you can never have enough note pads!

Quick, easy and inexpensive……”thank you for all the Extra (gun) work you do!”

Stress ball, who doesn’t need one once in awhile?  A helium balloon, filled with corn starch, add a ribbon and a smiling face, done!  I used a small funnel and the eraser end of a pencil to fill the balloon.

Everyone loves cupcakes!  Place your cupcake into a small clear solo cup, wrap in clear wrap or use a clear bag, tie a spoon on….”You take the cake”.

Pencil clip magnet can be personalized with your teacher’s name or name of the school.  Simply cut a wooden tongue depresser, paint to look like a pencil, write with a Sharpie pen, glue a clothes pin (or not) with a magnet on it, you will want to make one for everyone in the school!!

I hope I have inspired you…let the teachers in your life know just how much you appreciate all their hard work.

Thank you Mary Catherine from VA for your inspiring me to put all these ideas together!

Tthoughtful

Eengaging

Aattentive

Ccreative

Hhelpful

Eencouraging

Rresourceful

Halloween Banner

This fun Halloween banner made from card stock is the perfect easy decoration.  Make it with all ghosts, pumpkins or one of each, it’s up to you.

Materials:

  • Card stock paper white, black, orange, yellow, green, brown
  • Scissors
  • White gel pen for cat and black pen for monster
  • Cord or string
  • Tape
  • Tacky Glue and or Double stick tape
  • Optional brown or black ink pad for owl

Directions:

Start by cutting your triangles (with scissors or paper cutter), I used 8 1/2″ by 11″ card stock for each triangle.  But the fun part is you can make this any size (larger or smaller) and make all or some of the characters!

Save all the scrap pieces!

Now for the fun, to make each one…so simple.  For the ghost cut and glue two oval eyes or a shape you like.

For the candy corn, start with a white triangle, top with a piece of yellow, then orange, glue (or use double stick tape) in place then cut!

For the black cat, starting with the black triangle, cut and glue (or double stick tape) two ears on top (I made small triangles).  Cut two white eyes, cut two small circles for center of eye, glue onto the triangle.  Make an orange nose (any color) glue on, with a white gel pen draw the mouth and whiskers!

For the brown owl, he needs two ears ( I made small triangles), two white eyes with small black center, yellow long triangle nose and two brown wings for the side.  For his wings I inked the edges so that detail would stand out!

The orange pumpkin needs a brown stem and one or two green leaves, glued to the top.  Cut eyes, nose and mouth from black card stock and glue on.

The green monster, needs two white eyes with black center (any shape, I made squares), a black mouth, black hair and a black neck bolt cut and glue!  For the stitch marks I used a black pen.

Lay out each triangle in the order you want for your banner and tape string or cording along back with a little space between each, and you are ready to hang the banner up!

Wire Spiders

Spiders, spiders….everywhere!  Black wire and seed beads for eyes will be all you need for making these spiders, you will have a jar full in no time!  If your children want to help make spiders, let them use black pipe cleaners, pony bead eyes and follow the same directions!

pipe cleaner spider

Materials:

  • Black 26 gauge wire (I found at Jo Ann’s)
  • Seed beads: red, yellow, orange
  • Wire cutters or scissors
  • Optional: for kids black pipe cleaners, for eyes pony beads (or any type of bead)

Directions:

I’m using 26 gauge wire, because it is so easy to work with.

Cut a piece of wire about 18″ long, slide seed bead (eye) onto wire, about 2″ in and twist wire to hold bead in place.

Add another bead eye and twist to hold in place.

Now start forming the body (any shape), with the shorter wire, bend around with your fingers making a circle/oval shape, now bend the longer end around one or two times.

Now  start wrapping the wire around and around, going  in different directions around the body.  You want to pinch down every once in a while to keep your spider body flat.  If you have too much wire, cut off what you do not want, or add more wire if needed.

I just pushed the end of the wire into the body.  Fun right!  Any size or shape is going to work, that’s what makes this so fun, you can’t go wrong!

For the legs,  cut 4 piece of wire about 6” to 8” long (better to have them too long than too short) and one piece 8′ to 10″ long (this wire is for attaching body to legs).

Wrap the longer wire around all 4 legs wires, twist the wire to hold.  Now wrap the wire through center of legs, 2 in front and 2 in back on each side… see picture below.

Now to attach the body, we are going to use the same piece of wire (not a leg).  Lay the body on top and wrap the wire around, and around the body.

All you have to do is shape the legs, if they are too long or not all the same length cut them.

Since the spiders are made from wire, it is so easy to gently bend a leg to hold them on to branches, or gently push a leg or two into a candle, or cover a pumpkin with spiders.  If you are like me they will be everywhere!

If your children love the idea of spiders everywhere, let them make spiders from black pipe cleaners which are easier for children to handle!  They could use orange, red, or yellow pony beads or, depending on the age they might need your help, with cutting the pipe cleaners.

I used 3mm size pipe cleaner (they are not as fluffy), you will find them at any craft store.  I used a total of 6 for one spider, 4 for the legs, 1 the for body, and 1 to attach legs to body, and 2 pony beads for eyes!

Enjoy your spiders!

 

 

 

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