Holiday Craft Projects

gift wrapping ideas

I’m not sure if it’s the cooler weather and resulting hibernation or what, but Christmastime always seems to be the perfect time for crafting! As you might have noticed from my holiday house tour, I prefer a handmade touch for our Christmas decorations, so each year I make something new for our home. I thought you all might like to see what kind of holiday crafts I’ve done in the past, so I’ve rounded up my favorite projects I’ve shared at A Beautiful Mess and linked to them right here.

Top: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas / I grabbed supplies from around the house to make extra beautiful gifts for friends and family. Did you notice the orange mesh I stole from a bag of clementines?

star light and holiday village

Above Left: Star Light Holiday Decoration / This star light was so easy to put together! You may have noticed it lighting up our desk in our holiday home tour.

Above Right: Simple Winter Village / I didn’t have the gusto for a gingerbread house last year, so I made this little village out of cardboard instead! It’s backlit with a strip of LED uplights.

ceramic trees and holiday wreath

Above left: Porcelain Holiday Trees / These little tree cones are simple to make with the provided cone template and some air dry clay. I used LED tea lights inside for a festive glow.

Above Right: Winter Wreath / This delicate wreath uses unusual supplies— a coat hanger and ping pong balls to name two!

gift tags and citrus ornaments

Above Left: Homemade Cards + Tags / If you like to give handmade, but your family isn’t so into handmade gifts, this is the perfect compromise! Create handmade cards and tags for your store-bought gifts.

Above Right: Dried Citrus Ornaments / While simmering citrus and spices on the stove for a fresh scented home, why not slice up some extra pieces to dry for ornaments?

cake stencils and holiday garlands

Above Left: Cake and Beverage Stencil / This is the perfect decoration for a simple naked cake or pan of brownies. I also dusted a design on the top of my homemade latte!

Above Right: Homemade Holiday Garlands / So many garland ideas, so little time! My favorite is the “PEACE” one which hangs near my front door and kitchen sink.

The Dollhouse Hallway

Dollhouse Hallway with Window Seat

Things are coming along nicely in the dollhouse! I still feel like there’s so much to do, but comparing this post with my last one about the dollhouse, I can see how much progress I’ve made! I have a list of things that need completed on the structure (interior and exterior) and I plan to have it finished before Thanksgiving. (That’s next week! Yikes!) After the structure is complete, it’s on to furnishing and acessorizing. Then when it’s all finished, I’ll be so sad. Maybe I will do another? But for now, let’s talk about the hallway!

Dollhouse Hallway

As I mentioned before, you can see the true before pictures on Facebook here. But the photo above shows what the space looked like after the floors were done, the walls primed and glued in position, and the left wall wallpapered with a doorway in place. This hallway could be dead space in the dollhouse because it’s where the stairs go, blocking the rear area, but instead I decided to tuck away a fun feature: a window seat!

Dollhouse Hallway Window Seat

I built the window seat out of two pieces of 1.5″ wide craft wood I already had in my stash. I just used super glue to attach them together and then to the end of the hallway. I didn’t worry about making it fit absolutely perfectly, because I would be adding trim.

Dollhouse Stained Glass Window

Another detail in the hallways space I had planned from the beginning was a stained glass window. To make this, I added the plexiglass panes to my painted dollhouse kit windows and laid a template beneath it. (I used a stained glass window image I found online and tweaked it to fit my window in Photoshop.) I made the leaded lines with tiny strips of golfer’s tape. I flipped the window over and added lines to the other side of the window as well. Then I filled in the designated spaces with yellow glass paint and clear glass paint to look like real stained glass.

Dollhouse Stained Glass Window

Here’s what the window looks like in place from the outside. It drives me crazy because I’m new to this world of miniatures, and sometimes it’s only when I take photos and view the items enlarged (like this window) that I can see all the tiny imperfections. Oh well.

Below you can see the hallways from the inside with the window installed, wallpaper on the walls, trim in place, and even a tiny cushion on the window seat. I made the cushion out of foam board for the base and chipboard and quilt batting for the top. The right side of the window seat will be block by the top set of stairs, so I wasn’t super concerned with making the trim on the seat perfectly spaced.

Dollhouse Hallway with Window Seat

I’ll probably tuck a couple of tiny pillow back there for when the dolls are lounging around reading books or whatnot. You know, just doin’ doll stuff. Once the stairs are in place, you won’t be able to see it super well, so it will be a special little hiding place!

LINKS FOR MATERIALS USED:

dollhouse kit
golfer’s tape (for leaded window lines)
glass paint (for stained glass window)
wallpaper- open stock scrapbook paper from Michael’s craft store
fabric for bench
ribbon for stair runner (yet to be installed, shown in first image)

Next up I’ll have the bathroom finished and ready to share. Stay tuned!

My First Quilt

Rectangle Block Quilt

Last week at a craft night with friends, someone asked me what my favorite craft medium is. Obviously I love crafting and all things DIY, but I’d honestly never thought about what my favorite medium is! I told her maybe woodworking or sewing. They’re both forms of sculpture for me— I can take something flat and giving it a new shape and new life with a little vision, time, and work. But after saying this, I felt the need to clarify something about the sewing thing.

Not quilts. I love sewing, just not quilts.

Give me a few months, and just like a difficult child birthing experience, I’ll most likely forget my back pain and woes and be ready to give it another go. (Though if quilting is anything like birthing babies, I’ll need a few years between each one!) But as of now, I’m very proud to have finished my first quilt, though I cut a few corners along the way and definitely compromised on my original vision. This was certainly an instance of “Done is better than perfect.”

Rectangle Block Quilt

The top of the quilt is a simple rectangular block construction. At first I wanted to keep things super easy and figured I would just hand tie the quilt, but I really love how quilts get crinkly when machine stitching the layers together. So I watched this very helpful YouTube tutorial and bought myself a free-motion quilting foot for my sewing machine. I designed an elaborate geometric pattern that I had planned to draw on the top of my quilt and then go over with machine stitching. But by the time I had basted together the layers, I had sunk many hours and late nights into the project and thought it might be better than I just finish it up, instead of dragging it out while tediously stitching a complex pattern onto a heavy quilt without the assistance of an extension table on my sewing machine. Not a prospect I relished much, considering the work load I had waiting for A Beautiful Mess projects.

So I decided. Done is better than perfect. I made binding for the quilt and machine stitched it in place, instead of blind stitching it— another compromise. Oh well! I don’t think anyone beside me would have noticed that detail anyway.

Lucy- Making Nice in the Midwest

Rectangle Block Quilt

Lucy- Making Nice in the Midwest

Happily, Lucy loves getting tucked in under her new quilt in her new bed. She gets a little distressed if I don’t cover her with it before leaving the room. And my heart melts. I suppose it’s perfect for her, and I hope that she will always treasure it, knowing that I made it just for her!

It’s fun to do these little projects to make my firstborn feel special, knowing that a new kiddo will soon be sleeping in her old room and old bed, and she’ll most likely have some trouble adjusting.

Have you ever had trouble finishing projects that you end up not enjoying as much as you thought you would? My issue is that I always add more details and tend to make each project more complicated than I have time for. Gotta keep at least one foot on the ground, right?

Lucy- Making Nice in the Midwest 

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