Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Eve Craft: Wooden Tree

Last year, err 2012, my dad and I did a craft on Christmas Eve. It was one of the highlights of my Christmas break and I was looking forward to doing one again this holiday season. My family loves traditions, and when you do something awesome, why not do it every year?!

meanddad

Well, turns out my dad scheduled carpal tunnel surgery the Thursday before Christmas Eve. ON BOTH HANDS! He is crazy, and tough, and did I mention crazy?

If I had asked him to Christmas craft with me on Christmas Eve, he probably would have said yes. So I didn’t ask. Sometimes the kid has to play parent.

Instead, I set out to make a craft as a final Christmas gift for him.

When we made our Christmas Tree craft in 2012, we cut out one extra base for this year — we had grand plans to make a light up tree!

Tree stencil

With the base already cut, I got out my supplies for my craft: shims, paint sticks, Minwax stain cloths, wood glue and battery operated lights.

First, I cut off the “tree stand” from the tree we created last year. Basically, I trimmed down the tree so it was a triangle with an itty bitty rectangle stump.

Then, I lined my shims and paint sticks in rows to see how many I had and if I wanted to cut any down to size.

Christmas Craft Shims

I definitely had a few to trim and sand, but first I got to staining.

Speaking of stain, I was fortunate to receive a few Minwax goodies before the holidays. One of the goodies I got was a new product I hadn’t heard about. Minwax now makes stain cloth wipes! They look kinda gross (OK, really gross), but they are awesome.

Christmas Craft Shims minwax wipes

I wanted two different tones of wood on the tree, so I opened both pouches. Each wipe is soaked in stain and each pouch comes with a handy set of gloves (it’s like they know I won’t wear gloves if they aren’t taped to the package!)… use a wipe, toss wipe, toss gloves, you are clean! I am pretty sure this product was designed for me…

Christmas Craft minwax wipesAwesome, huh?

Christmas Craft Shims stained dark

I let the stained shims dry for about an hour before moving on with the project.

Christmas Craft Shims Stained

Dry stain meant time to get moving. I was doing all of this on Christmas Eve after all. I used wood glue to adhere the shims to the tree base (after trimming down a few here and there with a hand saw). When all of the shims and paint sticks were in place, I smushed the entire tree under a heavy bin to put pressure on the shims to help them stay in place.

Christmas Craft Assembly

With the three dried and holding up well, I moved onto the lights. I bought battery-operated LED lights from Target. The strand had 18 itty bitty lights on it, so 18 itty bitty holes I drilled. I taped all of the wired down against the back of the tree and added the battery pack to the back with velcro command strips. Last, I drilled a hole in the top and wove a ribbon through the top.

Unfortunately, this next picture doesn’t do the tree justice. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I didn’t really care to get the perfect picture. Forgive me?

Christmas Craft Complete

 

 

 

 

 

All that really matters is that my dad loved the tree. He hung it up immediately 🙂 In 2014, we are definitely crafting together though. That was just better, even if my tree is pretty darn cool.

Did I mention the lights twinkle, too? Light-up tree? Mission accomplished!

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Christmas, Craft Projects, DIY GIFT GUIDE, Holiday, Wine Crafts

DIY GIFT GUIDE: Ribbon-Wrapped Cork Letters

Ribbon Wrapped Cork Letters

This summer I scored A TON of free wine corks for a winery in Hamburg, New York. Talk about a sweet score, huh? I saw all of the corks in a bucket and asked what they did with them. The woman working told me they threw them away! CRAZY! So I scooped up hundreds of corks to take home and am nowhere close to using them all.

When we were at the winery, my cousin asked me to make her daughter a wine cork letter for her room, so I did a variation of my wine cork “S” post.

Supplies:

  • Wine corks
  • Small wooden letter
  • Ribbon
  • Button
  • Tack
  • Hot glue

Steps:

  1. Space out the corks on the wooden letter.Cork E before
  2. Hot glue the corks straight to the wood.
  3. When the corks are all secure, place a glob of glue at the bottom of the letter to secure the ribbon.
  4. Place glue along the center of the corks, securing the ribbon as you go.
  5. When the ribbon is wrapped all the way around, fold the end under and secure with glue.
  6. Tie a bow out of the ribbon and pin it to the cork using a tack.
  7. Embellish bow with a button.

Cork E

Christmas, Craft Projects, DIY GIFT GUIDE, Gift Idea, Holiday

DIY GIFT GUIDE: Frosty the Snowman

Snowman Gift Guide

Do you know someone who loves snowmen? Or home improvement? If you do, then this decoration made mostly of home improvement findings would make a fabulous addition to their Christmas decor.

Supplies:

  • Styrofoam balls, three different sizes
  • Pencil
  • Mason jar band
  • Ribbon
  • Two nails
  • Thumb tacks
  • Staples
  • Wire
  • Hot glue

Steps:

  1. Take the largest ball and stick a pencil in it. Weird, yes.
  2. Cover two inches of the pencil in hot glue, then stick the medium-sized ball on top. Yes, there is a random sock on my craft table. Thank you, Remmy.Snowman Base
  3. Do the same thing for the smallest ball, but do not push the pencil all the way though. This is the head of the snowman. Snowman Body
  4. Make a face for your snowman using two nails and a few staples. Stick each component into the styrofoam to secure it.Snowman Face
  5. Once your snowman has a face, add a few tacks along its belly for buttons. Place a small dab of hot glue under each tack so they don’t come loose over time.Snowman Arm
  6. Make arms for your snowman out of wire. Twist the wire until you have two long pieces for arms. Stick the pointy ends into the styrofoam. Or better yet, find two twigs to do the job.Snowman Arms
  7. Tie a piece of ribbon around the snowman’s neck. Cut the ends to the length you prefer, then “fray” the ends with tin scissor cuts. I added No Fray to mine.Snowman Scarf
  8. Take the mason jar band and line the rim with hot glue. Press it onto the bottom ball to act as a stand for the snowman.Snowman Stabilizer
  9. Wrap ribbon around the band, securing it with hot glue.Snowman
  10. Display!

Snowman 2

Our snowman is currently on the lookout for snow we are supposed to be getting today. Here’s hoping!