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.

Making Merry in the Midwest

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Welcome to Christmastime in our little Ohio ranch! This truly is my favorite time of year, and having little ones makes it all the more special. Since we’re still a young family, we’re just now creating our own traditions and watching the wonder and excitement that we’re helping to create in Lucy’s life. I’m learning to let go of my own expectations for this time of year and to be more flexible. Lucy’s actually been allowed to play with some of the decorations and she helps with everything I do, even though everything is much more difficult with little helping hands. Mom points for me! Ha! (I didn’t even rearrange the bulbs Lucy hung on the white Christmas trees above, though props to her, because she did a pretty good job!)

Seriously, though, this season is all about the ultimate gift of love, and my greatest hope is that above all else, we can teach Lucy about the love of God as we also strengthen the bonds of family and home during this season.

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

We just have one living room in our house— no basement, family room, sitting room, or any kind of bonus room. Just the living room. So in an effort to maximize our home’s Christmas decorating potential, we always put a tree in our dining room and mini trees elsewhere! I try not to get too crazy, because I want decorating to be fun, and not stressful. But often I dream of what it would be like to decorate a room with a mantle, or how I would adorn a stairway with evergreen and pine cones. Oh well! Maybe some day? But for now, I focus on our cozy home, happy famil,y and the gift of Jesus in our lives.

I also focus on the gift of food (aka butter and sugar) a lot this time of year. I’m not too worried about gaining a little holiday weight, to be honest. It always happens, and I’m happier indulging this time of year and dealing with the repercussions after the fact. January is what shift dresses and gym memberships were made for, right?

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Lucy and I tried a new gingerbread recipe this year that we really liked from the Brown Eyed Baker. I think I might try different variations on it the next time I make it, but overall I was really happy with how soft and flavorful they were. I thought Lucy would have fun using squeeze tubes to decorate them, but it was sort of a fail for her developing muscles. Next we’ll try thumbprints, I think.

We’ve also been watching the same movies over and over when the sounds of Pandora Christmas stations aren’t filtering through our home. Mostly the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July. Today we watched the Veggie Tale’s Little Drummer Boy to make sure Jesus gets his screen time too. But as of now, it’s all about Rudolph and Snoopy.

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

I’ve still got more Christmas decorations up my crafty sleeves, and I can’t wait to share them with you! Later this week I’ll be cutting up fabric scraps for a last minute Christmas gift for Lucy that I’ll share at A Beautiful Mess, and also mixing up some salt dough for a project I’ve been wanting to work on for ages. Stop back soon! I’ll also be decorating Lucy’s dollhouse for Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

My mom and dad are pictured above. Aren’t they precious? This is my favorite ornament that my mom made when they were newlyweds.

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Autumn In Our Home

fall decor in a modern home

I’ve never driven a pick-up truck or enjoyed listening to country music, but every time this year I look around and notice my life’s gotten a little bit country, and it gives me all the warm fuzzies. I love bringing pumpkins inside, making garlands with natural elements, and giving center stage to my two favorite colors: orange and yellow. Pop a spice cake in the oven, warm some mulled cider on the stove, and I’m in paradise!

I thought before all the leaves have fallen and Christmastime is here, I should take a moment to remember what Fall looks like in our home, and share a few photos of the fam.

hay ride

I’ve always enjoyed decorating for Fall and Christmastime, and now that Lucy’s old enough to enjoy the decorations, it’s become so much more special! Her favorite is the pumpkins, and she hasn’t even decorated one yet! That’s next on the docket, and I think it might blow her mind. Of course, it’s really not just the colors, but all the fun activities that make this time of year special. We’ve been to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, experienced hayrides and bonfires, and I really enjoy the coziness that abounds with nights in together as a family in warm sweaters with hot drinks in our hands.

The look on Lucy’s face (above) during our hayride really captures the wonder of it all. Fall really is the best time of year in the midwest. I never want it to end!

maize valley pumpkin patch

childhood in the fall

rustic style in a modern home

fall decor in a modern home

rustic storage cabinet in a modern home

glass pumpkins

fall decor in a modern home

rustic style in a modern home

Grayscale Film Noir Costumes

grayscale film noir costumes

Two years ago, Phil and I created these amazing grayscale film noir costumes, and they were too good not to share here on my blog! If you’ve been around my blog even a little, you’ll know I’m pretty into classic movies and find them my biggest source of inspiration for style. So, of course Phil and I would find Halloween a great excuse to dress up like a gumshoe and his femme fatale, but with a fun twist— we’re desaturated just like in the movie Pleasantville.

I’ve gotta warn you, this was no easy costume, thanks to all the makeup that easily smudges as the night wears on. But if not touching your face and leaving black marks on the rims of your cup is the worst of it, I’d say it’s worth the struggle! (I did smuggle makeup for touch-ups in my purse.) Phil and I walked around a bit to take photos, and we were the hit of the town. It was so entertaining to see the shocked reactions of people who couldn’t believe their eyes for a second! It really brightened their day, and tickled us all. Such fun, really!

grayscale film noir costumes

We found all the black, white, and gray clothing we needed in our closets, except for a jacket for Phil and tights for me. I was able to find his jacket at the first thrift store trip I made, and I grabbed the tights at Target. A quick stop at the costume shop for hairspray and makeup, and we were ready to transform ourselves.

grayscale film noir costumes

I began by spraying my simple updo with black hairspray , and wiping away any that got on my face. Then came the makeup.

grayscale film noir costumes

We blended black and white makeup from a pop-up Halloween store for the best coverage, and highlighted our eyes with a gray eyeshadow kit. I wore black lipstick, but Phil blended the black and white makeup to do his lips in a medium-gray.

grayscale film noir costumes

grayscale film noir costumes

grayscale film noir costumes

By looking at the photos, you really would think it’s just Photoshop until you get up close and can see our eyes and mouth. My teeth have never looked more yellow! Ha!

It was really helpful to have comfortable gloves to wear, because layering makeup on your hands will just make a big mess. I also made sure my outfit had lots of coverage, so literally the only part of my skin that showed was my neck and face, making the application process much quicker. We did get makeup on our clothes, but it washed right out in the laundry without any special treatment, though I still have some gray smudges on the inside rim of my pillbox hat, but I haven’t tried to clean it off.

grayscale film noir costumes

grayscale film noir costumes

This was definitely my favorite Halloween costume we’ve done and was a big hit at the party we went to! We also enjoyed dressing up as the Flinstones, thanks to some quickly sewn fleece dresses and nude body suits for warmth! How cute was little Lucy as Pebbles? Aw man, now I’m feeling sappy. Such fun memories.

flintstone family costume

Check out my Wilma Flintstone hair tutorial here!

Wilma Flintstone Hair Tutorial

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