Archive | December, 2012

Children’s Advent Calendar

25 Dec

When I was young, my aunt made my cousin and I a felt advent calendar. It’s almost 20 years old now and I still use it every year. I wanted to make my nephews something special they could look forward to each Christmas as well. So I decided to make a felt advent calendar for them too!

Supplies:
Christmas Fabric (1/2 Yard)
Red Felt (1/2 Yard)
Green Felt (1/2 Yard)
Assorted Sheets of Felt in all different colors
1 dowel
Ribbon
Craft Glue
Scissors
Velcro
puff paint

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I wound up buying way too much fabric and felt ( A yard of each…I have enough extra to make a blanket). You really don’t need much to do this, but it’s good to have a little extra incase you make any mistakes. I spent about $18 on this project, but you could probably get away with spending much less.

Lay your red felt out and cut it to the desired size. Mine was about 36″ x 15″…but I honestly didn’t measure anything. Cut your christmas fabric a little larger on all sides to make a border with it. Then fold your green fabric in half and cut to make a symmetrical Christmas tree. The tree should take up about half of your red fabric when laid out.

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Next is the fun part (and the time consuming part). Come up with 25 different Christmas ornaments for your tree. Make sure you keep your felt tree nearby so you can test and make sure they’ll all fit as you make them.
Don’t forget the star for the top!

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Cut 25 little squares big enough to hold your ornaments. I didn’t cut mine to be a specific size, they all are a little different, but I think it looks more fun that way.

Fold over your christmas fabric and glue it to your red fabric for a boarder. If you sew- that would work too. Glue down each pocket as well. When I glued mine down I put scrap felt in each one to puff out the pockets and make sure the ornaments would fit. (You can see the difference in the bottom 2 rows that I started compared to the top 3)

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Grab some puff paint and number each pocket. Be sure you put something like paper in each pocket just to make sure the puff paint doesn’t stick through to the felt.

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I bought sticky velcro and cut tiny squares of the rougher side. Stick one to the back of each ornament and put them each in a pocket. Each day of December, take out an ornament and place it on the tree.

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By December 25th your tree will be all filled up!

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I cut a hole on each side of the backer christmas fabric and pushed a dowel through it. I tied a ribbon to the dowel so it can hang on a door!

Happy Holidays from the Two Girls! Hope you all have a very crafty Christmas!

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Budget-friendly Frame

23 Dec

Some of you may know it was my birthday at the beginning of December and my thoughtful sister, Anna, got me an amazing gift – a huge map with pins to mark where I’ve been and where I hope to go. I was excited to get it hung up and start marking off my past travels and future trips, but the walls in my apartment are very old, making the plaster super hard and crumbly(I don’t know how this combo is possible). Also, I realized that when I want to move, I would have to remove all of the pins individually. AND the map was so big (50″x32″) that any of the frames I found were upwards of $100. So I got to work on a much more budget friendly frame.

Supplies:

Cardboard/Foam Core

Tape

Glue – I used white glue and rubber cement

Staple gun or small nails and a hammer

Two small screws or nails and wire

Poster or photo

Canvas Stretcher Bars

photo-6Here is the inspiration – lots of pins and a very large map.

IMG_0037I even had the perfect spot on my wall for it! I hung it up with some tacks for the time being, which also helped to flatten the roll out.

IMG_0038I was out shopping for art supplies for my self-portrait when I came across the canvas stretcher bars and the lightbulbs went off in my head. For under $30 I could purchase these and assemble them to look like a frame.

IMG_0040They already have the corners mitered and are super easy to put together.

IMG_0059I had originally planned on buying the largest piece of foam core I could find to mount the map onto, giving the tacks something to go into, then I realized I had quite the cardboard box collection from my Christmas shopping. I decided instead to disassemble the larger boxes and tape them together to make the backing.

IMG_0060Once the boxes were taped together and trimmed down to the correct size, I smoothed the surface out with some brown craft paper. I just glued the paper down with white glue and taped the edges down. I then glued the map down with rubber cement, which helps keep the paper from wrinkling while drying. After it is dry, I attached it to the frame with a few staples on the corners and edges.

IMG_0061I thought I would paint the frame but I couldn’t decide on a color so I left it natural for now, which actually matches the map and wall very well. To hang the map, I inserted two small screws onto the back of the frame and string a taut wire between the two.

IMG_0063Finally I can mark off some special places! The warm colors are places I want to go and the cool colors are places I have been. I’m very fortunate to have traveled as much as I have, but there are an awful lot of places I hope to go to soon!

–Heather

Wrapping ideas

21 Dec

Janlynn has graciously sponsored the Two Girls and sent us some awesome crafting supplies! They really do have everything every crafter could need- take a look at their site if you have a second, you’ll be hooked! They also do giveaways on their Facebook each week (and who doesn’t love giveaways?!).

They provided us with lots and lots of embroidery floss. I wasn’t sure what to use it for at first…I wasn’t in the mood to make friendship bracelets…but then I thought about gift wrapping!

photo 3-3-Emily

Reinbeer

20 Dec

Spruce up any bottle of wine or beer gift by adding some pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and red pom poms. Perfect hostess gift for any holiday party you are attending!

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Mint Chocolate Body Butter

19 Dec

 

 

My DIY Christmas continues with some homemade body butter! I based the recipe off of the one I saw over at Wellness Mama, but I quadrupled the ingredients and made them holiday scented.

Ingredients:

16 oz. Shea Butter

16 oz. Cocoa Butter

16 oz. Almond Oil

16 oz. Coconut Oil

Approximately 30 drops of essential oils – I used Peppermint and Spearmint

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Here are all of the supplies, which actually doesn’t even look like much! I purchased an entire essential oils kit because I wasn’t sure what scent I wanted to go with at that point.

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The recipe says to heat everything except the essential oils in a double boiler so I just used a heat-safe glass bowl, but as you can see it was very very full.

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I switched over to this large sauce pot about halfway through to cut back on spillage possibilities.

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This is what it will look like completely melted. It took about 20 minutes to get to this point and as long as the heat is on about medium, there’s really no need to even watch it – so simple! This is where I added my essential oils because there was no direction in the recipe for when to add them.

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Once everything is melted, the recipe says to let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes before popping it in the refrigerator to cool longer – I just went straight to the fridge and had no problems. It will take longer than the estimated hour to set up though, so keep an eye on it. You want to take it back out of the fridge once it is almost hard, as you can see above I tested it with my finger and it should have a little give but still be a little soft.

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Once the mixture has reached that point, you can take out your beaters and start whipping the body butter to your desired consistency. The mixture will warm up and melt a bit the longer you whip it, so I actually did a double whip, cooling it in the fridge for about 5 minutes in between. IMG_0053

After you’ve whipped the mixture, back in the fridge it goes. You can let it sit there as long as you want, but I was anxious and gave it only about an hour before I portioned it out among my glass jars. I used 8 oz jars that I bought in bulk on Amazon. This recipe filled up 10 and a half of the jars.

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Onto the labels – I debated between hanging labels and glued labels, glued won this round so I used Adobe Illustrator to design them. The labels measure 2″x8″ and don’t wrap completely around the jars.

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I printed these on some thicker cardstock paper and just ran a small bead of super glue down the short ends of the label to secure them.


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Here they are, all finished! I love that the labels all look the same but are each a bit different. I am so excited to give these out to friends and family – they smell almost exactly like Thin Mints, the texture is wonderful and the ingredients are all natural. As usual, there are so many variations that can be done on this project and overall it only took one day to make and cost about $5 per container. Win. Win. Win. Ho. Ho. Ho.

–Heather

DIY Photo Booth

17 Dec

What makes an amazing holiday party even better? A photo booth! But who wants to spend $1,000 on renting one for just 3 hours when you could make one yourself for less than $5 and keep it up all night long!

My friend Stephanie just had the holiday party of the season and she decided to make her own photo booth. It was the talk of the night and made the party even more fun. The more the guests had to drink…the better the photos got! So here are all the steps you need to make your very own photo booth.

Supplies:
Crepe Paper
Wrapping Paper
an iPad
Construction paper and wooden dowels
Scissors
Glue
Random assortment of props

“I started by covering the back wall with colorful wrapping paper (I would suggest something simple with geometric shapes or a simple pattern), and then taping crepe paper in a line so it hung down to the floor over the paper.”

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“For the props, I just had a wicker bench to serve as the seat, and put two tables next to it to hold a box of props on one and the ipad on the other.”

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“Props included mustaches that I drew, santa hats, funny headbands, reindeer antlers and a red nose I made out of glittery foam. I wanted to include a chalkboard for people to write their own messages, or had a sign that said “I’ve been naughty/nice”, but didn’t make it that far. Another suggestion would be to have mistletoe!”

“I made a frame out of cardboard covered in glitter. This turned out to be the favorite prop of the night!”

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“To take the pictures, I used an app on the iPad called “Pocketbooth”, which was simple to use and had a self-timer (someone needed to hold it up because I didn’t have a stand, but if you can rig something up- that would be even better).

“It was cheap ($1.99!) and pictures could easily be saved to the camera roll, emailed or posted right to facebook or twitter.”

-Stephanie

Thanks for sharing the ins and outs of making this awesome photo booth, Steph! It was a huge hit and super fun and easy to make. It’s definitely worth the $1.99 investment in the app.

If you don’t have an iPad- no worries! A lot of people were posing, using the props, and taking photos on their own phones or cameras as well. Definitely the perfect addition to any holiday party.

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-Emily

Art Assignment: Self-Portrait

15 Dec

As promised, I have one more art project for class that I wanted to share with you. This one was based off of vignettes I wrote about my childhood development. It also pays homage to a style of art that I had lost during my time at SCAD and am excited to explore again.

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I started with covering the canvas in reflective tape and painting a pattern of eyes based off the “evil eye” found in Eastern European countries.

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Collage was a major component to my artwork in middle and high school, so I created my shirt, the apples and the bowl out of collaged images.

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I painted my face and hand, focusing on the fact that my eyes are closed – showing the self-reflection process.

photo 4I assembled it all together and then stitched embroidery floss onto the piece to create texture in the hair and eyelashes. While the piece may not look exactly like me, it embodies a lot of who I am at this point in time – observant and introspective, balanced and strong, calm and focused.

-Heather

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