I know one thing for sure. No matter how far in advance I post Christmas creations, I will always have new ideas to the very last second.
Last year, I put together the Tiny Tart Tin Tree just a few days before Christmas. I hadn’t planned to create with the tins again this year, but a recent acquisition had other plans.
I present to you the Tiny Tin Tart Topiary Tree!
I brought home this fabulous pyramid shaped topiary form, and I knew it had so many possibilities. It sat and sat, waiting for me to choose which direction to go in.
All it took was adding one tart tin, and I couldn’t stop. Unlike last year’s tree, I flipped the tins to show the outsides instead. It would seem that showing the inside is the most common practice for crafting, but I found the outside to work well for this form.
I could have really jazzed up the finial with a star or something, but instead I chose to keep it humble and simplistic with a few mercury glass beads strung on some wire.
I did pretty much the same thing as my other tart tree. I kept everything quick and temporary by adding the tiny earth magnets to the inside of the tins. This time, I added ornament hooks to the magnets, twisting the hook to stick out enough to hang on the mesh topiary form.
I had some small mercury balls, but these were the kind that are usually on foil-wrapped stems for floral accents. I wanted an easy, attractive way to keep the balls on the mesh without wiring them to it, so I hot-glued silver pipe cleaner around the ball neck. I also darkened the pipe cleaner with brown alcohol ink to look at place with the aged metal. Spiraled around the neck allowed me to twist the ball gently into a mesh hole, and the thickness of the pipe cleaner holds it in place.
To hold the topiary form in the urn, I secured a piece of Styrofoam inside with some putty. I stuck the topiary stem all the way down, then scooped in white beans to cover the Styrofoam. I’ve played with navy beans before, because I love that they’re winter white, and I’m a sucker for texture. Being a kitchen tree, the beans seemed a no-brainer, but other fillers would work too. Coffee beans, perhaps?
The other fun and instant accent was with my star-shaped baking tin.
I added a glass flower frog, and secured small, Swedish style candles in some of the holes. They are the perfect size for the holes, but it is important to use candle stick-ums to keep them from toppling over. I also kept the look simple, not covering anything with filler, to show off the tin interior.
These are just a couple quick and easy ideas for last-minute decorating. I’m sure there’s more where those came from, but we’ll see if I feel the need to share…..:)
I’ve been surrounded by my craft supplies for weeks now, trying to keep them all within reach when an epiphany strikes.
The other day, I was feeling overwhelmed, so I started tidying up my stash to soften the chaos. After looking around at what I had, it occurred to me that when I artfully arranged my supplies, they became great holiday décor, and not just elements to make things with. The added bonus is that they inspire more creativity from me.
Here are 2 examples….
I found these darling little square bottles at the thrift store, which look perfect with my German glass glitter in them. (Please, someone tell me what these bottles were originally used for, because I would sure like more.) I thought it would be fun to give them stoppers more creative than corks, and wouldn’t you know it, my smallest bottle brush trees fit perfectly!
I hot-glued some glittery ribbon around the necks, and now they’re perfection.
How could you not be inspired to create when looking at these?
I recently acquired a homemade wooden organizer tray. It's deeper than typical trays (which makes it more awesome), and leads me to believe it was made to hold hardware. After ebonizing it to look even more aged, I fully intended to sell it.
But right now, it’s here to hold my stash and make me happy. And it does!
Filled with all sorts of crafting supplies, vintage and new, it’s pretty as a picture, even when I’m not creating.
I think I’m going to see what other goodies I can display more artistically. Definitely feels more like an atelier now....:)Linking To:
After finishing up some glue gun creations on my last 2 posts, I thought I’d offer up an easy peasy monogram ornament/gift tag idea with less hot-glue precision.
White burlap will always be classic, and so is greenery.
Put them together, and you get this:
This craft project is almost too quick to even qualify as a project. Here’s all you need.
Burlap, elegant twine, wooden coffee stirrer or like item, and wired mini faux green garland.
Cut a piece of burlap any size you wish. I cut mine 3” x 4”, so I’d have enough width to fray the edges and bottom.
Fold the top over 1”. Cut the wooden stick a little shorter than the burlap width, then hot glue the underside of it, making sure the stick is up against the burlap fold. Now center your twine into the fold, then hot glue gun the burlap flap onto the stick.
Flip the burlap piece face up. Bend a piece of wired garland into the letter you desire, then hot glue it in a few spots to the burlap.
To keep the letter uniform in thickness, like an “A” for instance, cut 2 pieces. One to bend in half, and the other to form the center, then gluing each piece.
That’s it. All done. You could whip up a bunch of these for last-minute gifts, like tying to a bottle of wine, etc. An entire family of these would look stunning on a simplistically elegant Christmas tree.
After creating my recent glue gun and plastic ornaments, I said I would try to whip up a couple of gift tags with the same technique.
I created these 2 tags in the exact technique as the silver leaf egg, only this time I didn’t use plastic as a base, but die cut tags I found at the thrift store.
Just for a little extra glam, I strung some vintage silver mercury beads onto elegant tinsel cording.
Now they’re ready to tie on a package as a personalized gift tag, and then be re-used as a tree ornament!
I love versatility, don’t you?.........:)Linking To:
So it’s less than 2 weeks till Christmas, and as usual, I still have a lot of ideas swimming in my head that I haven’t blogged about.
But of all the things I could create, you didn’t think I would let Christmas crafting slip by without taking the glue gun and plastic out for a spin again, did you?
After the silver Easter egg, and the Halloween Potion Bottles, I ruminated about all the cool and clever things I could transform for Christmas. But in the end, I decided that I should stick with the most classic, obvious shape and the easiest to find…….the ball ornament.
I was fortunate to find a bag of these plastic ball ornaments at Goodwill the other day. These were obviously made specifically for embellishing. Perfect! But of course, any plastic ball will do.
I created 2 designs. Here is the first.
Ta Da! Nothin’ more classic than snowflakes….
Snowflakes are perfect, but you don’t have to be!
This is about the dimensional effect, not perfection.
After I hot-glued the designs, I painted the whole ball with Tiffany blue chalk paint to represent a happy blue sky. I sealed it in matte medium so the snowflakes would stand out more.
I dry-brushed FolkArt Metallic Champagne on the snowflakes. I could’ve used straight white, but I wanted to dress them up a bit, since Tiffany blue is synonymus with luxury.
I painted the cap white, then glued mica flakes over it, because what’s more snowy than mica flakes….not to mention that I didn’t want to ruin my snowy sky effect with a gold metal cap. (I painted the cap white first because mica flakes are translucent, and the gold metal would show through if I didn’t.)
This ornament was pretty straight forward, with no aging techniques like the egg and potion bottles.
My second hot glue ornament….
If you’ve spent any time on Etsy, you’ve seen antler art everywhere, so I thought it would be a fun design for the glue gun treatment.
Again, this is not about perfection. So have fun with it.
This ornament was a combination of both the egg and potion bottle designs. Metal leaf over the hot glue design (in this case, it is copper leaf), and chalk paint over the rest of the ornament. I only gilded the pattern and a little overlap, since I knew I was painting the rest.
Painting around the hot glue image is pretty easy, because the raised pattern gives your brush a place to stop. I painted the base coat a dark turquoise teal shade, then added watered down washes of lighter turquoise and rusty brown for a verdigris effect that naturally accompanies copper. Although I would normally use a matte finish over verdigris, I opted for gloss to deepen the colors.
I added copper leaf to the cap to coordinate with the antlers, then aged all the copper leaf with caramel and black alcohol inks.
Although you’ve probably already decorated your own Christmas tree, perhaps these can be one-of-a-kind display pieces in little vignettes around your home.
I toyed with another obvious holiday hot-glue creation, the gift tag, which would also serve as a personalized tree ornament. I will try to whip up an example or two, in between the myriad of other projects I have going on right now…..:)