Posts tagged ‘Holidays’

2013, December 21

Upcycled Christmas Tree Ornaments –part 2- #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1Like I said yesterday, when bringing into your home the huge boxes marked “X-Mas” after a year and awaiting them to again become the center of attention, you might be surprised by your findings.

Some of your ornaments might need a fresh look.

Below are the ornaments I upcycled today. They look beyond cute!
I finished eight yesterday, and had four more ornaments to upcycle this morning.
To my luck, I also found some Lace to “dress” a couple of them and after finishing those, wondered what to do with the last two ornaments.

I wanted something interesting, something fitting for a writer!

Thought I’d give decoupage a try this time and made a few writerly ornaments with some calligraphy on them.
What do you think? Every writer’s dream? ;)

decoupage christmas ornament

Writerly Christmas Tree Ornaments

old Christmas ornaments
decoupage paper, rice paper or napkins
other decoration if needed

As a base, cover the whole surface of the ornament with dull hobby paint (or glue) in a few layers.
Cut the desired pattern as accurately as possible.
Separate the calligraphy patterned napkin, only the top layer will be needed the pattern part, the rest of the napkin can be disposed of.
After the primer dull paint coat has dried, brush a coat of adhesive varnish on the entire surface.

Then gently place the cut napkin pattern and smooth out any wrinkles. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, it gives a more antique look if it’s a bit wrinkly.
Coat the entire surface once more when you are done, so the napkin will be completely covered with adhesive paint.

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 20

Upcycled Christmas Tree Ornaments – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 When bringing into your home the huge boxes marked “X-Mas” after a year and awaiting them to again become the center of attention, you might be surprised by your findings.

There might be Christmas ornaments in those boxes which don’t end up on your tree when decorating. They might have outgrown your style, you might not like their color, or you might have gotten bored with them, even though they bring nice memories of Christmases past.

Let’s fix that with only a few easy steps! ;)

I’m sure you have scrap pieces of fabric laying around, maybe lace, old knitted socks or scarves. Working at the curtain shop, I found quite a few fabric scraps I brought home just because. As soon as I saw some of my ornaments, I knew just what I could do to bring them to new life while putting to good use my fabrics.

page fabric ornaments

To my luck, I also found some lace to “dress” a few of these.

lace fabric ornament

Upcycled Christmas Tree Ornaments

old Christmas ornaments
fabric scraps
other decoration if needed

Cut squares of fabric two inches larger than your ornaments.

Wrap gently around the ornaments, pulling the edges towards the top.

Secure with a ribbon and tie bows, add leaves, buttons, dried berries or other decoration if needed.

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 19

Button Holiday Cards – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 Today I’ve been crafting like crazy. There are quite a few projects I still need to finish before getting into the cooking and baking part of the pre-holiday season.

This past year, I’ve driven my mother crazy, I’m sure, by turning off the radio whenever it was on. Now, I’m listening to music by choice.
Huh, turns out, I do like music when I don’t *have to* listen to it all freakin’ day long.

Starting yesterday, I listened to lovely carols played by The Piano Guys (and then other music, too) while finishing up the cleaning and crafting everything I could find the supplies for.

Like the following cute little button greeting cards.

These would be the perfect cards to give to just about anyone, let alone to someone who loves to sew every spare second!

page button x-mas cards

Button Holiday Cards

buttons of choice
tacky glue
other embellishments if desired

These greeting cards are super easy to make: just cut up your cardstock of choice to the sizes you want. You can fold them in half or leave as is, make them into landscape or portrait layout, what ever you’d like, really.

Arrange the buttons onto your cardstock into the shape you’d like. You can go with shaping a little snowman, a wreath, distance the buttons out and later draw in string and tiny bows so they’ll look like suspended Christmas tree ornaments.

Write a holiday wish or a quote if you want to, it might be a little harder to do once the buttons are glued on.

When happy with your design, glue on buttons and draw in anything else you need to finish your cards – hands, buttons and eyes for the snowman, string and tiny bow for the ornaments, a pine branch they’re hanging from, etc.

Decorate with paper punched snowflakes, hearts, vintage paper scraps, stamps, bows, etc.

I went with simple designs for mine, but you can make these as minimalist or as detailed and layered as you wish!

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 18

Twinkle star decoration for your window – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…

As you may have noticed, I love love love Christmas decoration. I try and incorporate them anywhere there’s enough room to, and so, my window sills and windows are no exception.

After frantically searching the whole house and every single X-Mas box we could lay hands on for a similar window decoration we used to have, my mom remembered we gave it to my grandparents last year. That figures, I was sure I saw it not too long ago – and I have, just not in our house!

I still wanted to decorate the kitchen window with something, so decided to simply make another one. Christmas lights were bought, window finally got washed as well as the curtains, and so today, I sat down to make a new Twinkle Star decoration.

Here’s how you can make one, too:

page twinkle star 1

page twinkle star 2

Twinkle star decoration for your window

One set of shorter (100 light) LED Christmas lights – color of your choice
wooden sticks
nails and a hammer

Nail together wooden sticks into a star shape. You can use any type of sticks – I used some discarded ones I found in grandpa’s garage, but I’m positive this would look awesome with actual branches, too!

Plug the lights into an outlet and starting from there, measure lights next to where you want the finished twinkle star to be hung. Mark with a paperclip.

Then, start wrapping the lights all over the star shape starting from one tip, from the mark on the lights towards the other end. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have enough room to plug the star into the outlet without any issues, nor needing to unwrap so it’ll reach.

Decorate and fasten lights onto the wooden star shape with a few ribbons and tie bows. To the upper tip of your star, add a string as long as you need it to hang the decoration in the window.

Hang in your window and plug it in. Everyone will admire it when walking by your house!

* I personally wasn’t going to puncture my window frames with a nail, so I tied a larger knot to the end of the string, cracked the window open, pushed the knot outside and then just closed the window. This, of course, only works if you won’t open that side of the window until the star is decorating it.

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 17

How Estrella does Pinterest – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 With the yearly pre-holiday cleaning out the whole house’s every nook and cranny (nearly!) done, tomorrow, I’m pulling out the big guns and decorating the house in anticipation of Christmas.

I’m talking garlands, X-Mas lights, wreaths, candles, and other Winter-y decorations that I haven’t displayed yet. All there will be left for the weekend and beginning of next week is the cooking and baking, and decorating the Christmas tree.

Having days off to actually enjoy the holidays turns out to be a good thing. It certainly gives me the time to do more writing and blogging, reading (met my goal of 30 books per year the other day – yay!), and also crafting! Boy, I’ve missed having time for all of these things!

While this is not a DIY blog post per se, it does lead to such, as Pinterest has been a huge help for me ever since I signed up. And I have resisted the urge for a long, long time!

What I’ve been doing lately, is spend time on Pinterest. Okay, I should correct that statement, since that website can rapidly turn into something quite time-consuming. There are sooo many wonderful ideas out there, and pinned there, that it’s really easy to get lost in the amount of information and tutorials available. I need ground rules unless I want to log in in the morning and still be sitting at my laptop pinning away by the evening.


So here’s a quick run-down of how I “do” Pinterest:

  • No specific searches on the website – unless I’m actually looking for something specific, I try to stay clear of doing a Pinterest search on things
  • Spend time mainly browsing my own Pinboards – For reading blogs and such, I use Feedly a lot and am subscribed to the things I’m most interested, so I pin what I like best, then look it up in my boards later
  • Turn off e-mail notifications – I can catch up on anything major happening there when I log in
  • Pin what you want to delete – In a (successful) attempt to “clean” my laptop I pinned everything I was interested in into my personal Pinboards, then deleted it all from my laptop. I’m happy with the free space and can find everything at any time
  • Edit and organize Pinboards – I like to categorize everything under the Sun, so yeah
  • Every once in a while, do indulge in a browsing session – The Pinboards I follow are super fun, so I do occasionally just browse and rePin people’s pins

I’m looking forward to trying some ideas for Christmas crafts and a few recipes I have pinned to my boards. No worries, I’ll show you what I make ;)

Do you have any tips for me?

2013, December 16

Gadget cozy – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 Because our phones, tablets, eReaders, laptops and various other gadgets also need to keep warm during Winter :)

I’ve looked around after buying my tablet for some kind of case for it, too. The choices were limited. Not the right color, too expensive, nice color but not a good design… So, I decided to find a design I liked which could also be handmade. It also gave me the chance to put to good use a pair of old, stained, pair of pants which I’ve successfully avoided throwing out.

This is an easy enough project, which will however require the use of a sewing machine (or a grandma who’ll put up with you hovering until the task is done and sew this for you – my grandma is awesome like that!).

If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could try making one from felt and sewing it together by hand. (I’ll post a tutorial, if I ever make something like that, too.)

I love my new tablet case, especially because given that I used both the front and back material of the pants just as they were, with pockets, if needed I can even keep my phone and tablet together when traveling.

page tablet cozy page gadget cozy

Gadget cozy

First off, I cut off a section of the upper part of my pants along its seams, which I eyeballed as being big enough to seam and still cover my tablet.

Then I took a scarf I never wore anymore, and cut that as well to fit the size of my other two pieces. This would become the padding.

I fastened the two layers together with a thread, and sewed them together. I flipped the material so that the outside would be on the inside, then with a few pins fastened the two front and back pieces together and made sure the tablet fit nicely in between.

Then it was time to get this seamed, trimmed, turned inside out and… voilá!

To make sure the gadget doesn’t wiggle around, I also had a small button sewn on near the top and made an eyelet (someone with a better sewing knowledge than my own, please tell me if that’s the word for it!) from another piece of the material I had.

Next, I want to try making another one of these just from the remaining pockets, for my phone since that comes with me all the time.

Happy crafting! ;)


PS: in hindsight, this might suggests that with some quick eyeballing, one can tell how many tablets it takes to cover one’s tushy *laughing*

2013, December 14

Adorable Sock Snowmen – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 For the second day of my #12DaysOfDIY, I thought to present to you the making of some adorable sock snowmen.

This time of year, we’re flooded with Santa’s, Angles, and Reindeer, Polar Bears, Penguins, Snowmen and the alike – complete with Santa hats and full winter attire – in shop displays, on TV and home decoration.
Of all, Snowmen are my favorite! Sure Santa’s have their flair – I mean, they do bring presents to all the good little boys and girls, right?

Still, for some reason, Snowmen are the ones that truly melt my heart into a puddle.

I came across many, many ideas on Pinterest (here’s my X-Mas inspiration board), but finally settled down to give the one from {then she made} a go. The snowmen made there looked simplest, and flat out adorable!

page - sock snowmen

Adorable Sock Snowmen

Cut off the top of the sock from the foot. Turn the sock inside out and attach a rubber band tightly to the top of the sock. Then turn the sock right-side out again.

Fill the sock with rice. Make sure to pack it down as you go so the sock gets a nice round base. Rubber band the top of the sock closed and put another rubber band 3/4 of the way to the top for the head of your snowman.

For decoration, tie a scarf around your snowman’s neck and add eyes, nose, and buttons. You can use sewing or map pins for eyes and holding the little scarves in place.

Sew or glue on your buttons, and add embellishments if needed, like twine, bows, ribbons, etc.

Use the toe of your cut socks to fashion a stocking cap. Or use colored argyle socks to create hats and sweaters for your snowman, as seen at {then she made}.

This is such a quick and easy craft that it would be simple to create a whole family of snowmen for your mantle!

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