Hot Cocoa on a Stick
At Christmas time I love my home to be filled with lots of Christmas trees and one of my favorites are the simple Swedish Trees. If you're lucky enough to find them this time of year...let's just say they cost more than they should.
I found an easy and inexpensive way to make your own little forest of Christmas trees...and it is a fun family project too. I found the materials for this project in my canning cupboard and at my local Hobby Lobby.
Small Jelly Jars
Wood Dowels the Size of a Small Pencil
Hot Glue Gun
Make It Christmas - Tree Branches ($2.99 per pack)
Make It Christmas - Snowballs ($1.99 per bag)
1. Cut a small piece of Styrofoam off the block and hot glue it into the bottom of your jelly jar. (Make sure the piece is small enough that you will have side room for your snowballs.)
2. Cut your wood dowels into 8 to 10" pieces. Run one end through a pencil sharpener to make a point for the top of the tree. Stain dowels with your favorite stain color. I used weathered oak for mine. Let dry.
3. Take the center of a piece of the Make It Christmas tree branches and wrap around the tree twice. Straighten out flat. Repeat five times up the trunk.
4. Use your wire snips to trim the ends of the trees. Go from large at the bottom to small at the top. Straighten your branches again.
5. Push your trunk straight into the Styrofoam piece so the trunk stands tall. Pull out and squirt a bit of hot glue into the hole and push the trunk back into the hole. Hold in place until cool and firm.
6. Fill your jelly cups with the Make It Christmas snowballs and your Swedish Trees are done!
I LOVE these little trees. I placed two of these in each window of my house along with our Light of Christ candles. They look so traditional and give a little Christmas cheer to a usually un-decorated place in my house. I'm making a few more this weekend to give to friends and family.
These little ornaments may just be my favorite addition to our big family tree this year! I'm calling them Chalk Art Christmas Hoops and they are so simple and easy to make you could get your little elves involved too.
3" to 4" Wood Embroidery Hoops
Pom Pom Trim
Deco Fabric Pen - Pearl White
To make these Chalk Art Christmas Hoops you stretch the black fabric into the wooden embroidery hoops tight! You will want it tight because as you write with the marker, it will stretch and loosen the fabric. The tighter the better.
The next step is where the magic happens. Find a design you want to put on your ornament and using the DecoFabric Pearl White marker, draw your design on the fabric. You may need to trace it more than once to get a good "chalk line" on the fabric background. Let it dry for a few minutes. My tip after making a few of these is to keep your design simple. They show best the more simple they are.
Once your design is dry and finished glue your trim around the outside rim of the wood embroidery frame. Tie a ribbon around the top screw piece and hang from the tree using a ornament hanger slipped into the opening where the screw is located.
Photo transfer Christmas Ornaments are a beautiful and fun way to decorate with some of your favorite holiday memories. Wood is one of my favorite mediums because of it's warmth and texture. This year they are so "on point" and it wood products can be found easily at your local hobby store. They make perfect gifts too! Let's get going...
Find a photo you love. You will want one with a lot of contrast. You can use either color or black and white. I recommend sharpening the colors so there is good contrast when the ink is settled into the wood. Also, if there is any lettering or numbers in the pictures, you will want to use a photo editing program to reverse the image. Print off your image on light weight copy paper.
Once your image is printed off on the light weight paper. Take your wood piece and trace around the image to get the sizing right. Cut just inside the traced line to give you a margin for the bark edge to show.
Using the white acrylic paint, dry brush the surface you will be applying the image to. This helps make the image pop. You can skip this step if you want more of a shadow look to your finished project.
Once the paint is dried, the magic can begin. Using a dry brush coat the wood slice surface with Matte Gel Medium. This is the product that takes your inked image and "soaks" it into the wood. When the surface is coated, place the image face side down onto the surface and smooth out. This will need to dry for 8 to 10 hours.
Now that your medium is dried, you will be removing the paper fibers from the image. To do this, lightly mist the paper with water and using a damp rag, lightly rub off the paper. You will see the image appear from under the fibers. This is a delicate process. If you feel too much of the image is coming off, you can use your fingers to release the fibers. It may take a few mistings to get the fibers off, be patient and rub lightly.
Once the fibers are removed, you are ready to seal the image. I use Modge Podge and because these are holiday ornaments, I used the Sparkle Modge Podge. It just give a super fine sparkle to the project which looks spectacular when the tree lights hot it. If you have any spots where the image rubbed off too much, just add a little more Sparkle Modge Podge to give it a snowy look.
To finish the ornaments, drill a hole in the top of the wood slice and hang from your favorite ribbon. Tuck larger slices into blank spaces on your tree or nestle into your garlands.
I was so naughty this year and started "decking my halls" the week before Thanksgiving! I have never done that in the past, but this year we have a super busy December with work, family in town, and lots of concerts and parties. I'm so happy to have it all done and ready to enjoy.
This year there are a few new additions to our living room. I love the rich colors and textures of wood and wool and really had fun adding those touches to our tree. I'll be sharing instructions for a few of the handmade ornaments and the wool snow drift garland in the next week.
My favorite and heart warming addition is the handmade stable my husband surprised me with. Last summer we went back to our family farm in New York and he brought home a few large sticks unbeknownst to me! He used the sticks from our family woods to make a stable for my nativity. It melted my heart!!! It is for sure my favorite addition this year.
On the mantle there I added a wool snow-drift blanket to keep the wool going all through the room. Nestled into pine is my Grandmother red cardinal. She loved those red birds so much. I think she would be happy to see it on our Christmas mantel.
I collect old Santa mugs and this was a special gift from my boys...it is by far the most unique Santa set I've seen...and I love it on my side table.
Next week I will be sharing three ornament ideas on the blog and this photo transfer Christmas ornament on KUTV's Fresh Living!