Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Traditions...

The weather has been downright chilly here in Southern California and it is putting me the mood for Christmas crafts!

Over the long holiday weekend, I pulled out my photos from last Christmas and got scrappy.

We have a new holiday tradition in our family that began last year.  Instead of buying each other gifts or doing the usual secret Santa, white elephant or other type of gift exchange, we decided to have a friendly gingerbread house building competition with a cash prize! The "buy in" was $10 per person and jackpot on the line was $160!  All names went into a jar for a blind pairing of 2 man teams.  A one hour time limit was set.  And no pre-made house forms!  All teams were provided with packs of graham crackers and a bag of homemade royal icing.  Colleen and I shopped for all kinds of different toppings and candies to provide the teams.  There were candies flying and messes made and at the end of the hour, Trevor and Tori skyped in from out of town to serve as our impartial judging panel (they had no idea whose house was whose or which of us were paired together). We cannot wait to do this again!

To create this layout, I started with (2) 4 x 6 photos and used the following supplies:

From the Robin's Nest:

Snow Glitter Cardstock
Dew Drops - Fresh Mowed Grass and Chocolate Cherry
Straw - Red
Crimson Chipboard Glitter Snowflakes

Other supplies / tools:

Bazzill Cardstock - White
Coredinations Cardstock - Tan
Elle's Studio - Vintage Christmas Flashcard and 12 Days of Christmas
Sequin Mix - The Crafty Pickle
Paper Cutter
Corner Rounder
Sewing Machine (optional)
  • Cut Glittered Snowflake CS to 8 x 8 and round corners (optional: machine or faux stitch around edge)
  • Cut tan CS to 6 x 6 and round corners
  • Adhere CS squares off center and overlapping to your base
  • Center photos on top of your CS squares
  • Now start layering your embellishments.  I like to lay things out and rearrange until I am happy -- then I take a quick pic with my phone so I can recreate my design!
Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Decopauge Reindeer Ornaments with a Vintage Twist!

I recently created a bunch of these ornaments......

I participate in an annual handmade ornament swap and every year there is a different theme.

This year's theme was "Traditional"and I knew I would go with a reindeer motif.....I am reindeer OBSESSED!

For me traditional means traditional icons (santa, trees, reindeer, elves, stars, etc) but also traditional materials.  So I incorporated antique book pages cut into strips to use as decopauge material.

Below is my step by step, along with tips/tricks (read: what I found the hard way is the wrong thing to do)

It would be so easy to put your own personal spin on this ornament - I already have plans to make more!

I think mongrammed ornaments would make a great personalized gift!


  • 3" Smoothfoam Balls
  • Decoupage Medium 
  • Glitter (I used Heidi Swapp Marquee Love, it is awesome to work with!)
  • Ribbon / Twine (cut into 20" lengths)
  • Jingle Bells
  • Card stock scraps for image silhouette
  • Vintage/antique book pages, sheet music or newspaper cut into small strips
  • Spray Sealer (I used Krylon Satin Finish)
  • Paper cutter 
  • Scissors
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Drill to make hole through styro ball
  • Wooden BBQ Skewers to hold smoothfoam balls while decoupaging and drying (also used to push ribbon through hole in ornament


  • Baby wipes to clean your hands frequently and keep your project pristine!
  • Mason jars - to hold in project in process
  • Reindeer Die (I used Tim Holtz Mini Reindeer + 25 Die)
  • Cuttlebug or other die cutting machine
Tip / Trick:  I used a die for my reindeer - - but it would be so easy and so very charming to hand cut a tree, star or over sized monogram to use on this ornament!  

I began this project by poking a BBQ skewer into my Smoothfoam styro ball - this gave me a way to hold the ball while working on it, and then also to put in a mason jar to hold while drying

Pour your decoupage medium in a  bowl and start brushing the decoupage medium onto your smoothfoam ball - - then start applying strips of book pages / newspaper.  After SEVERAL layers of book pages were applied, I let dry for about 10 minutes and then I applied my Christmas Icon in the same manor.

Tip/Trick:  I found it was much more efficient when I used my fingers to apply paper strips once the initial layer of decoupage medium was applied 

Tip/Trick #2:  I was originally going to use RED silhouettes on my ornaments, I quickly learned that the card stock I was using just bled all over the ornament (test your paper for "bleed") - - so I had to put another layer of book paper on and switch to a different card stock.

I let my decoupage dry overnight.  

Then it was time to drill.   I let my hubs drill a hole through the smoothfoam ball.  Not that I am not capable, but I tend to over think placement and it takes forever - - hubs drilled all of them in under 2 mins.

I then "strung" the ornaments on a long, thin dowel and took them outside.  I sprayed them with Krylon Satin Finish, sprinkled a good dash of glitter on them and then sprayed another heavy coat of the Krylon sealer.  I did this step a little at a time spray, sprinkle, spray - turn stick - spray sprinkle, spray, etc. until I had glitter on all sides.

While I let the sealer dry, I cut my ribbon into 20" lengths and strung them through the jingle bell.  Once the ornaments were ready, I placed the ribbon halves together and pushed from bottom of ornament to the top using the wooden skewer.  Once the ribbon was through the ornament I adjusted and pulled tight. I knotted the ribbon at the top of ornament and again at ends of ribbon, cut at an angle and applied Helmar Fray Stoppa to prevent ribbon from fraying.  With a lot of ribbons you can just run a lighter quickly across the cut ends to seal.

For packaging, I used a cellophane treat bag from the craft store, hemp twine and a pre-made tag from the candy / baking aisle of the craft store.  I created labels on the computer to attach to the tag and voila! easy and rustic wrap!

Thanks for stopping by - - next post will be recap of the ornaments I receive in the swap!