Christmas Table Centerpiece

My daughter is in a local production of The Nutcracker this entire week and it has gotten me in the mood for pulling out my Christmas Decor…and a nap.  I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put out all of our Christmas Decor so that Thanksgiving doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

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If you remember…last Christmas we were knee deep in a kitchen demolition and so the Christmas decor was pathetic.  I did manage to put up a tree and the stockings…but that was about it.  It felt sad…but I couldn’t stand the thought of the construction dust everywhere.  So I am jumping at the bit to get all that Christmasy goodness out this year!

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So I took that Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece and decided to make a Christmas Version!  It couldn’t be simpler. You will need some sort of box or plantar, or you can make a wooden box using the tutorial I shared last week (for those of you who are new here).

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Then take some Spanish Moss or other filler and place in the bottom of your box.

*BE CAREFUL WHEN USING WITH CANDLES AS THE MOSS IS DRY AND FLAMMABLE. NEVER LEAVE A BURNING CANDLE UNATTENDED.

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Then take some berry garlands and tuck them into the edges of the boxes and hide the wires under the moss. I used a couple of different garlands for this. A white one and a silver one. I found both of them in the Christmas section of Hobby Lobby.

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Throw in some fun colored “fuzzy balls” (yes…that is what they were called) and a couple of candles and you have a lovely centerpiece for the middle of your Christmas Table. I like that it is also low and doesn’t intrude on your table space or block your view of your guests and gives you plenty of room for that giant plate of Christmas Ham!

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This is a really easy way to add some fun, festive Christmas Decor to your home to help you celebrate.

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DIY Christmas gift

Need a last minute DIY Christmas gift? Today you can print out this already made template for either soap or sanitizer bottles.  This is one of my very favorite gifts to give.  This gift is perfect for when you have to give out gifts to teachers, neighbors and friends.  They are pretty easy to make and inexpensive. And I love that they are totally practical especially in this season of germs.

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The other thing I love about these is that you can totally customize them in any way, shape or form and for any season.

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Instructions:

1. Remove the label(s) from your bottle.

2. If there is any sticky residue left, you can easily remove it using some Goo Gone.

(I picked mine up from Home Depot)

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3. If your bottle has an insert inside you can remove it with some tweezers.

4. Print out the Christmas Soap insert here.

5. Print it using a laser printer onto your transparency film.

If you do not have a laser printer you will need to print it out and then copy it onto your transparency film. If you do not do this your ink will end up running and falling off into the soap or the hand sanitizer. You can take it and have it printed at your local copy store as well.

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6. Measure your bottle and cut your transparency so that it will fit into the bottle. Be sure to measure it on the top and bottom so that it sits where you would like it to…INSIDE THE BOTTLE!

7. Roll your transparency backwards and slide it into the top of the bottle. Push it into place so that it sits right against the front wall of the bottle. You can use the soap dispenser pump to push it into place.

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Christmas Soap Bottles Download

Such an easy gift that people can really use.  I love to make these up and give them to my kid’s teachers along with a gift card, but I use Hand Sanitizer instead of liquid Hand Soap.  The teachers always seem to enjoy them as they go through a lot of hand sanitizer in their classrooms.  Here are the links to the other versions of them that I have previously shared.

Thanksgiving Soap/Sanitizer Bottles

Monogrammed Hand Sanitizer

Hand in Hand Sanitizer

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I also wanted to take a minute and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Holiday, etc.  Only 2 more sleeps till Christmas!! I wish all of you a happy and safe holiday with family, friends and loved ones! I feel so grateful everyday for this blog and for each of you who follow along! I am truly blessed!

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Holy Names Subway Art

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Well, you asked for it…so here it is!

I whipped up this Holy Name Subway Art using an 11 x 14 inch frame that I already had on hand and cut out the anmes in vinyl using my Silhouette SD machine.

But it would be so easy to just print out this subway art on some nice paper and then frame it. I love how simple it this decoration is, especially next to my other brightly colored Christmas decorations. But my favorite part of it is that it reminds us of the REAL “reason for the Christmas season”!

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Wouldn’t these also make a great neighbor or friend gift? I decided that I am going to give these to the ladies that I am “assigned” to visit monthly as part of one of our Church programs.

I simply printed out the subway art, on some nice cardstock paper, so that it measured 4 inches x 6 inches (most printing programs will allow you can change the size of the document you are printing) and framed it within a 5 x 7 inch frame. You could even find some frames at the dollar store to make it extra inexpensive.

Such a simple and easy gift!

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Want to make one for yourself or to give to someone as a gift? Click here for the free download. This is a .png document so you will only be able to print it, unless you have a program that will allow you to change it. But you should be able to save it to your computer and then print it into the various sizes you may need.

Linking up here:

December 8, 2010 · Filed under: Christmas, Christmas Decor, Christmas Gifts Tagged with

My Shopping Trip to Pier 1

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have been busy girl “deck’ing the halls” for the Holidays! Have you? In fact I finally put away the last few bins and stray Fall decor that had been littering the floor of my Living Room for days.

A few days earlier, I was given the opportunity to do a little bit of Shopping for some Holiday Decor at Pier 1! I know…tough job right? Ummm…TOUGH is right, tough trying to decide what NOT to get!

They had a lot of fun ideas that would be great for the holiday gifts you have on your lists this year. Here are just a few that caught my eye! Aren’t they fun? Perfect for a girl friend or kids!

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I was surprised at just how many fun and inepensive holiday gifts and ideas Pier 1 had! I will definitely be heading back there to pick some up.

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But this time, I was able to pick up some awesome Holiday decorations that fit in perfectly with my own tastes and I love how they look in my home. One of the things I purchased was this lovely silver Reindeer! I LOVE reindeer and have a few reindeer decorations already in my home, so he felt right at home.

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I love a “white” Christmas and had to have this fake snow! I also got the snow and glitter covered pinecones and sticks there!

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I love how festive and Christmasy they look! Don’t you? It was fun to bring a bit of Winter Wonderland in my home.

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In keeping with the reindeer theme, I came home with this little gem…a gorgeous sequined reindeer throw pillow.

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I loved the pop of color it brings into my largely neutral colored room! So fun and festive! Thanks Pier 1!

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So head on over and check out some of their great deals and holiday gifts. Oh! And on your way there, pick up a toy or two, to bring to your store.
This year Pier 1 is doing Toys for Tots. And they are taking unwrapped toys, for donations. Or if you don’t have an unwrapped toy you can simply make a donation at the cash register! What a great cause to help support.

And, if you become a FB fan of Pier 1 during the month of December, for each fan they gain, Pier 1 will donate $1 to Toys for Tots.

Visit Sponsor's Site

★Amy  

JOY Trees

Christmas-Trees

Guess who has been browsing the thrift store…

I had been wanting to put some little potted trees on my front porch and was searching for 3 pots that would fit with what I had in mind! I was so excited when I came across these beauties!! I got the matching pair for $1.50 and the popcorn jar was $1.00! Wahoo! I had wanted to get all three matching, but I feel pretty happy with what I was able to find.

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So how to cover up the prints? I simply primed them with primer using a regular brush but was very careful to paint them smoothly without any drips, etc. After they had dried, I spray painted them with some white Krylon outdoor spray paint. By the way…Krylon is my favorite brand of spray paint!

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Then I glued a ribbon around the middle of the pot, threw in some small evergreen trees. I found mine at Hobby Lobby. They were orginally $7.99 but were 50% off! Gotta Love That!!

What do you think? I am really happy with these JOY trees. I might add a few little red or silver berries to them to spice them up a bit more! Have you been decorating your house for the Holidays? I just barely got all the bins and boxes put away…they have been out since the day after Thanksgiving :)! Feels good to have it done!

And thank you for all of you who have linked up your Christmas Projects and ideas…I am trying to get through all of them. You guys are doing some fun things!

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★Amy

Snow Man Tutorial

I made these cheery snowmen for Christmas gifts a few years ago and thought it would be fun to show you how to make some for yourself. I have also provided a free downloadable pattern here. You should be able to print it onto an 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

Simply take some white fleece or felt and cut out 2 of peices using the pattern provided.

Trace the face (eyes and X’s for the mouth) onto the front of your felt very lightly with a pencil. Then using all 6 strands of black embroidery floss, hand-stitch the eyes and X’s.

When you are finished, take your two peices of fabric and pin them so that the right sides are together. Start at the bottom and sew around the entire snowman except for a small opening along the bottom.

Turn the snowman inside out and fill him with stuffing. Do not fill him all the way full. Leave about 1.5 – 2 inches of room in the bottom.

Now take some beans, rice or split peas (not popular for eating at our house), and fill the bottom of your snowman. This will keep the snowman weighted down so he will stand upright.

Take a needle and thread and sew the bottom of the snowman together. I pulled all the ends into the center and sewed them together to seal up the hole. Tie off the ends of your thread. Your snowman should stand up on his own.

To make the hat, I took an old sweater that was in my pile for Goodwill and cut about 8 inches of the sleeve off.

I put the sweater on the snowman’s head and turned up the finished edge to make the brim of the hat. You might need to whipstitch around the base of the hat to keep it secured with needle and thread.

Then I took some material (the same material I will use later for the scarf or twine) and tied the top of the sweater off to make the top of the hat. You will have about 2-3 inches of sweater sticking up at the top. Then I simply took my scissors and cut the sleeve into strips down to the tied off portion. This allows the hat to have a fringed look on top.

Then I just cut a long strip (about 20 inches x 1 inch wide) of material to make the snowman a scarf. Simply tie your material around the bottom of your snowman to complete the scarf. Take a red crayon and add some color to your snowman’s cheeks.

For the nose, I have cut wood with my jigsaw and then painted it orange. You can also cut out a peice of cardboard and then glue some orange scrapbook paper to it to create the carrot nose. Glue the nose onto the snowman with E6000 glue. And that’s it!

You can make a family of snow people by changing the width and height of the pattern so they are different shapes and sizes. This project could also be done without a sewing machine for you non-sewers by simply handstitching everything.

Snow Covered Pine Cones

Sorry about the lack of posts…but I have been feeling deliciously lazy! The last 2 nights in a row I sat on the couch watching old movies after the kiddos went to bed and didn’t get up (except to refill my popcorn bowl…twice)! It was glorious! But now I am itching to get busy again. So I have another post for you!

I made some festive snow covered pinecones to decorate in various places to add to my Christmas decor. The kids and I spent some time over Thanksgiving gathering pinecones. Then I sprayed the pinecones with Elmer’s Spray Adhesive while holding them in my other hand. (Note: Wear rubber or latex gloves to protect your hands. I did not! I was a sticky mess! Then, for the next few hours, every peice of hair and lint I came in contact with STUCK!. Not fun!

Before the glue dries, sprinkle with a snowy white glitter. I used Sulyn Glitter that I purchased from Ben Franklin last year. I placed a brown grocery bag underneath so that the unused, wayside glitter could be saved and poured back into the bottle.

I love the little extra sparkle that it adds to my Christmas decor!

Christmas Ornaments

Years ago, growing up my parents had a tradition of getting each of us kids a new ornament on Christmas Eve. The ornament was usually something that represented something we did or had accomplished that year. Then, on the Christmas Eve after we were married, my parents wrapped up all our ornaments from our growing up years and gave them to us, as a new couple, to use on our own Christmas tree.

This particular ornament was given to me the year my brother taught us all how to rapel. We went many times as a family and loved it.

This ornament was given to us when we were pregnant with our first child. This was the last ornament my parents gave us. And we have continued the tradition in our own family, beginning with our son’s first Christmas.

This is the ornament my daughter received for her first Christmas.

My husband and I usually only get ornaments for the kids, but every once in a while we will surprise one another with one if we did something fun or significant that year. Six years ago my husband surprised me with this ornament after my mom, sister and I took a class together and became SCUBA certified.

We got this for my daugher when she started taking ballet. I was so excited when I found this ornament because not only does it represent her ballet, but she loves to dance with her dad and brothers on the entry way rug.

My son received this ornament the year he started to play soccer.

…and the year my son learned how to snow ski.

This one is a little different to have on your tree, but I love it! It reminds me of when we went to Yellowstone and my son who is the animal lover was fascinated with the Buffalo. He couldn’t believe how BIG they were. He sat and stared at one forever and they were all he could talk about. So everytime I see it, I smile thinking of that experience.

The ornaments can be about anything that is a memory. Some years are harder to find ornaments for than others. I remember one year my mom had a really hard time finding one for my sister, she ended up giving her a pickle ornament. But, the funny thing is that it was one of my favorite ornaments on our tree growing up. The pickle ended up being perfect because this sister LOVES pickles!

I keep a paper in our ornament box and each Christmas when we put away the ornaments, I take the paper out and write down the ornament the kids got that year. This way when they get married, I will remember who got what ornament and when!

What is your favorite Christmas Tradition with your family?


 

JOY Letters

I made some JOY letters to add to my Christmas decor yesterday after I had received an email from a reader asking me about them. I had forgotten that I wanted to make some like the B O O letters I made for Halloween. So, here they are. These are really so quick and easy to make. I whipped them up during nap time and still had plenty of time to work on cleaning up the house which I had been sadly neglecting! To make these, click here to refer to the directions I previously posted with the BOO letters as the process is exactly the same!

I purchased my letters from JoAnn’s and the paper was purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts. The green polka dot paper is by Bo Bunny–St. Nick Sugar Plum, the red striped paper is Lasting Impressions–Tomato Distressed Stripes, and the green lined paper is s.e.i–Christmas Mint (wintermint).


 

Ice Wreaths

Be sure to take a minute and head on over to Simply Modern Mom where I am hosting a fun little giveaway today (1300 Followers…Wahoo)!

Make a festive ice wreath to add to your outdoor Christmas Decor. These are so simple to make and don’t cost you anything. I just took a bundt pan (but any round pan with a hole in the middle will do. Then I gathered items from around my yard like rose hips, berries, pinecones, and pineneedles and placed them in the pan half filled with water.

Then I simply placed the pan into my freezer. The next day I had a frozen wreath. To remove the wreath from the pan I just ran the bottom of the pan under hot water for a few seconds and the wreath slid right out. Run a piece of ribbon through the hole and hang your new wreath. You might want to handle the wreath with gloves on your hands.

These wreaths can last up to a few weeks depending on where you place it and how cold the weather is in your area! They can also be used in your table centerpieces for a dinner party if you placed them on top of a pan to collect the melted water. You could also make ice “candles” by freezing water in a tall glass or cylindrical container!


 

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