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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Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Clearance Jug Lamps

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Years! I’ve been off work for three whole weeks and it has been amazing! You might think I would update my blog more since I had a lot of time off, but I’ve been happily hanging out with my family and friends instead of doing work of any kind! That’s not to say I didn’t craft on my three-week staycation. Stay tuned for a bunch of new projects that I’ve been working on!

Today’s project couldn’t be easier to make. And yes, if you read the title of the post, it is a lamp!

An easy lamp? Yup!

I was browsing around at Michaels a couple of months ago and I found two beautiful green glass jugs on clearance for around $3 a piece. I knew right then and there that I wanted to turn them into a set of lamps for our night stands. You see, ever since B and I have lived together (oh, 4+ years), he’s had a lamp and I haven’t. Or at least that’s how I remember it. I definitely have had one since we moved to our house.

I’ve wanted to buy a matching set but they are SO EXPENSIVE. So when I saw these jugs I knew I already had the perfect tools to turn them into lamps.

Even longer ago — sheesh, probably two years ago — I bought a kit on Amazon to turn a wine bottle into a lamp. After I bought the kit I decided that a wine bottle makes for an awkward lamp, but I saved the kit for later. Perfectly enough, the clearance jugs had an opening and a neck as skinny as a wine bottle! So making my lamp was as easy as plugging the kit into the opening of the bottle. I thought I might have to seal it with glue, but the cork is in the neck of the jug very tightly.

 

 

Cork Adapter

You can see the cork in the neck of the bottle in the above photo. For a better photo, or to buy your own, check out this listing on Amazon. I definitely don’t think I paid $20 for a set of two. I think I paid closer to $10…. so maybe shop around?

Anyway, I made two lamps in two minutes. The hard part? Finding shades! See, the jugs aren’t huge, so a normal shade would be too big. And then I found one at Target I loved, but they only had one. I held onto the one for about a month before giving up on finding its mate. I returned my favorite shade, then found a set of two a couple of weeks later. SCORE!

Here’s how the lamps turned out:

Jug Lamp

The only downside to the kit is that the cord runs out at the fixture instead of through the lamp, but I love them regardless.

Jug Lamp On

 

And now I finally have a lamp to go in my nightstand. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to me, amiright?

Hope you are all doing well in 2014! It’s back to work tomorrow and back to more diligent blogging. Getting back into the groove will be rough, but normal will be a nice change.

 

Life

Holiday Pup

I love the pictures of pets wrapped in lights. Love love love.

I came home from work the other day and decided I was going to try to do this IMMEDIATELY. So I walked in, unplugged some colorful lights and grabbed my pup and a treat. Here’s how this whole thing went down.

Enjoy…

Rem and B waiting
Brian and Remmy waiting for the lights to go on. Brian has a treat in his hand, hence Remmy’s patience. And yes, sometimes he sits that pretty.

Imagine about 30 or so shots or total blurriness….

Remmy lights confused
Remmy thinking: WHAT THE HECK ARE THESE LIGHTS DOING ON ME!?
Rem's feet
This one could have been good if the whole dog was in it. Probably time to abandon solo Remmy.
Rem and B
Brian jumps into the picture. Too bad we didn’t think to turn off the TV. Oh, and B is blurry.

The only “good” shot I got. Brian’s body is in it, but he isn’t. Weird. But Rem still looks cute. I’ll take it!

Remmy in Lights
I’m in lights! Are we done now? — Remmy

My only advice for anyone else who wants to try this?! Bring more than one treat 🙂