Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Craft Ideas 2009 - Part One



Over the past couple of weeks I've become a firm believer that decorating for the holidays doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are plenty of free and inexpensive materials out there to play with, and adding even the simplest of holiday touches can take your home from ho-hum to ho-ho-ho in no time!

Here are a few frugal-yet-festive ideas:

Earlier this year our friends at Sweetwater sent us the cute little tote pictured above. I love their line of fabrics...



So using our tote and the log-filled copper bucket in the photos below as inspiration...





...I filled our Sweetwater surprise with a bunch of pine cones I bought last year at Michaels...



I think I paid around $3.00 for a big bag of them.

Do you have a textural bag, bucket, box, basket or tray of some sort that you can fill with pine cones? If you do, and it's small enough, you could use it on a bookshelf, on the kitchen counter or even on the counter in your bathroom. If your container is large, use it as a centerpiece on your dining room table, or on the coffee table in your living room. Sprinkle a few extra pine cones on the table around the container to create a more casual look. If you use a tray, you might consider using a bed of fluffy, faux snow for your pine cones first, to create a contrasting layer of color and texture.

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Another thrifty Christmas decorating idea came about last week while my Mom was house sitting for us. She drove out to the edge of town and clipped us some fresh evergreen branches. She put them in a tall vase hidden inside the galvanized mop bucket inside our fireplace. She sprayed faux snow on them to give them a more wintery look...



I took the look one step further by sprinkling in some of my pine cones. I also used the two giant ones we got from White Flower Farmhouse last month. I love the way it all came together, and I'm crazy about the bottom line of this one! ($0)

(If you're lucky enough to live somewhere you can find pine cones for free- bundle up buttercup! Then get out there and grab 'em!)

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My next project was inspired by these napkin rings made by Abigail of Gloaming Designs:


(click on the photo to see Abigail's tutorial)

They were featured on Gabreial Wyatt's "Vintage Indie" blog in 2008 and I've been in love with them ever since!

My idea involved creating "cozies" for some glass cylinders I had in my office...



I got a yard of jute webbing for 89 cents at my local fabric store...



(I've heard you can get it at Walmart too)

And I also picked up some rusty little snowflake embellishments at Hobby Lobby that I found for 50% off...



A little hot glue, and voila!



A candle holder cozy!



It reminds me of a warm, winter sweater around an big, chunky icicle!



Do you have any glass vases or containers that you could cozy up for the holidays?

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I've got a few more ideas to post tomorrow so if you're in the mood for more merry motivation, stop by for another visit! I guess you could call this decorating in the "saint" nick of time!

Layla :-)

39 comments:

Marielle said...

Sweet ideas. It was fun to find a new posting late on a Saturday night. Postings are getting slim in the blogging world.I remember how SLOW it was between Christmas and New Year's 2008...

M.J. Marquardt said...

Every time i walked by that webbing at wal-mart i wanted it... but didn't know where to use it... thanks for the great ideas! Im headed to "wallie-world" tomorrow to get sum :)

P.S.
I too enjoyed this surprise late night post... thanks guys!

Sandi and Jason Rodriguez said...

Love the last night posting! Your ideas are great!!!

Flick, said...

I love your pinecone ideas, and the rusty snowflakes are super cute!

PJ@nmyfreetime.blogspot.com said...

I love all the ideas so much but especially the candle one!
I have to get the webbing ASAP!!

The Little Red Shop said...

Very cozy ideas, indeed! I especially like the the webbed candle cozies you made. I have an oblong bucket full of pinecones on top of a vintage picnic basket...on top of a hutch in my kitchen...year round.

: )

Julie M.

The Green Pea said...

Very cute little cozies. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Merry Christmas. sandi

Emily said...

I think it is insanely cute that your mom was house sitting and decorated for you. Must run in the family.

Emily@remodeling this life

Miss Mustard Seed said...

All are great ideas. I love using what you have around the house to decorate. It's free and it forces you to be creative.

My name is PJ. said...

I'm all about using what nature gives us for holiday decor. I have a large collection of those huge North Carolina pine cones that I keep in a big, big produce basket. I can't put it out because my dogs think they're chew toys.

I'm getting ready to clip our nandina berries on Tuesday...I like to mix them with all the evergreenery in the yard.

Now if I just had you to put it all together for me!! ;)

FleaMarketTrixie said...

Great Ideas, I really love the candles you made. You and Kevin are such a cute couple and I so enjoy your video clips you post. You look like you are having so much fun. I'm sure one day we will all be seeing you on your own tv show:)

terrie, jackson, lexie said...

Another great post! I really love the cozies! I too have walked by the webbing going...ummmm...and have seen the wrapped candle holders AND never put the two together! DUH!!!

Anyone out there want any pinecones, contact me! I have tons for free, thanks to Mother Nature and 4 pine trees! (I am just south of you in the Gump)

Merry Christmas

Tami SouthStreetShabby.blogspot.com said...

Love the ideas and I'm all over that tote! Great...as usual. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday! Tami E.

Melissa Miller said...

So cute! Love the burlap cozies. :)

minnesotamom said...

The cozies are adorable! Wish I had a mantle to put the candles on, but my balustrade hung on the wall will have to do for now.

gina said...

Cute ideas. As soon as our roads are clear I'm heading to Walmart for some jute ribbon and clear vases! Thanks!

pk @ Room Remix said...

Great ideas! I especially like the napkin rings and candle cozy.

Blondie's Journal said...

Love, love your ideas and want to eat them all up!! So simple, homespun and natural.

Thanks, Layla!

Happy holidays! :-)

xoxo
Janie

whitey said...

I think the webbing would make a cute chain idea like we did with paper in the old days

fairfieldhouse said...

Layla,

Thanks so much for posting these thrifty, clever decorating ideas! I adore the "warm, winter sweater around an big, chunky icicle"!
We are in the midst of the blizzard (and I was going to get my tree yesterday -- yikes!) so I will be spending the day indoors decorating.

Deborah

Sarah said...

LOVE your ideas...and of course, your entire blog!

Vintage Indie said...

I love your idea, the votive cover is adorable. Have a Merry Christmas!
Gabreial

C.J. said...

great idea, I am going to post what I made this year. Have a great Christmas!

http://wwwbeenblogged.blogspot.com/

Tricia said...

Hi guys.
Very cute, cheapo (which I love) ideas. I especially love the candle holder cozies. So stinking cute.
Thank you for stopping by for a visit, Layla. It was a very nice surprise. ;)

XO*Tricia

cmluvs2stamp said...

great idea for the cylinder candle holders. I really like the rustic look of the cozies with the rusted star. Thanks for sharing.

s as in tset said...

More great ideas! Do you ever sleep???

So, I'm wondering…where do you store all your decor? Basement? Attic? Secret room that we, blog-readers, don't know about??? :)

s as in tset said...

I'm going to be bold and comment a second time!

Kevin & Layla,

If only you knew how many times I go back through your posts and look at your pictures!

When I look at your pictures, I think about my space and the challenging question for me is trying to figure-out a balance between use of lights and darks. You use lots of whites and also a number of darker/blacksin your interiors. May I ask, how do you find a balance between the two? When is it too much one way or the other? I'm sure it probably comes very natural for you…which is why you are so good at it…but do you have any advice for those of us who don't have the gift you have??? :)

Lettered Cottage said...

Hi "S as in Tset"!

We store all our Christmas stuff in the attic. I would eventually love to get some of the red and green tupperware tubs to keep everything organized better. But since we haven't really acquired very many decorations yet, I haven't had to invest in too many containers so far!

And I'm glad you asked the other question too. I'm in the middle of writing an e-book which details my thoughts on how to create an inspired home, and your question has sparked an idea to incorporate that topic into one of my chapters! Symmetry can be a tricky thing, not just visual weight-wise, but between colors and textures too. Something that might help to figure out where you might need a light or dark, is to photograph your room and then really study the pictures of it. Once you look at the room in "1-D", it will be easier to see where you could use a pop of black, or a something light-colored.

Hope that helps!
Layla

PS...If anyone is interested, my e-book should be available next month! :-)

s as in tset said...

Thank you for being some forthcoming with information! The photograph suggestion is a good one – thank you!

And yes! We all will be excited to read your ebook!

Sarah

Pony Girl said...

This is SO bizarre! I cut some branches off a tree in my yard today....and put them in a galvanized pail. I threw in some big, old pine cones that I had. I wanted to bring it inside, but just don't have the room. So I set it outside on a stool at my front door. Voila! Then I saw the post on your blog- almost the same thing! Great minds think a like! Totally free!
I love the burlap garland around the candle, too. I have that garland with black trim, and have a set of 3 big white candles in glass from Nordstrom that I got as a gift. They aren't round but hopefully the wrap idea will still work.
Thanks for sharing your holiday tips....priceless!! :)

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Uh-oh - I think I need a mop bucket!

Love your ideas. That jute webbing is the coolest. I wish they'd do up a version with black or navy, too!

Lettered Cottage said...

Hey Shannan!

Good news! They DO make a black version! :-) I look forward to seeing what you make with it!

Layla :-)

Amelia said...

Guess where I've placed my collection of pinecones this year... in the LCH herb crates! Come see at http://stripeydots.blogspot.com/2009/12/getting-ready-for-festive-season.html
Loving all your inexpensive holiday dec ideas, Layla! xoxo

abbieknaub said...

I LOVE pinecones! My kids and I picked up a bucketfull last summer - when they were dry instead of buried in snow! - and I've enjoyed putting them in a glass jar alone and now with some glittery balls. :)

christi said...

adorable! i did something very similar to my candle holders in my living room!

Sharon said...

I absolutely LOVE your decorating style....

simple, yet elegant....

{ L } said...

LOVE that tote! So much personality for a little tote. Happy, Happy Christmas!

Carolyn said...

Your ideas and crafts are so great and your pictures are wonderful. I love your blog. I'm sure it's not always easy and is a full-time job, but you are inspiring lots of people and that's better than any desk job out there!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Very sweet idea! Love your description of the cozy sweater. :)

Merry Christmas Kevin, Layla and cute critters!

Donna