Quickest Advent wreath

Today comes the last Crafty Christmas post. Here are the links to all the Crafty Christmas posts:

free crochet pattern to make gingerbread house tags

inspiration for making Christmas cards

making scented Christmas ornaments

my tiny gingerbread house

tiny origami stars

Today I do not have a tutorial for you but “just” some inspiration. This was my Advent “wreath” for this year. :-) 

(If you like, check out my “wreaths” – do not take this too literal –  from last years HERE and HERE. )

It looks rather different compared to the traditional German Advent wreaths. But you know what else? It is EASY and FAST to make! 

And that is actually what I wanted to show you today: DIY and craft does not always have to be elaborate, costly, and take forever. It can also be quick and easy … and I think it looks pretty good, too. Especially right before Christmas quick crafts can be such an sanity saver! :-)

Do you agree? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


 

Cuteness alert! Teeny origami stars

If you know me, you know I like “tiny”. No idea why. So after yesterday´s tiny gingerbread house I have another “tiny” one today. Tiny origami stars!

Look at them! They are SO cute!!!

And with a teaspoon for scale! I LOVE these.

Once you have figured out how to make them it is really easy. To me it always takes a bit to wrap my head around such stuff … But it really is not that hard. Now even my daughter loves making these.

And it is so easy to decorate with them. Just put some in a clear glas container … or on the table … It always looks good! I love easy decorating! :-)

If you want to make your own there are MANY tutorials out there. I used these:

video instructions and written instructions

 

And as you can see I made them using old music sheets. Flea market score! :-) I am a sucker for everything “musical”. Just look here

But you can use ANY paper to make these. Old magazines, printed paper, newspaper … anything really!

 

Do you like them? If yes, don´t be shy and leave a comment! It makes my day! :-)

And check out all the other Crafty Christmas goodness. :-)

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


 

Do you want to see my tiny gingerbread house?

After such a long post yesterday I thought I give you a little break today. ;-) So today there is not much to read – I just wanted to show off the tiny gingerbread house I made.

For years I wanted to make a gingerbread house myself but with two small kids it just always ended up being of the store bought variety. The one that you buy in pieces and put together. Which was okay. But this year – with a little trick – I got my gingerbread house. :-)

(See the tiny bird on the pile of wood logs?)

The trick? I just made it VERY small! *lol*

Very. Seriously. It is basically made out of cookie sized gingerbread. And as we make cookies all the time with the kids this was actually a really fun project.

Here you can see HOW small the gingerbread house is. The spoon is a tea spoon.  

 I had made a few blank ones as well that the kids decorated. It was so much fun! 

What fun baking projects have you done this Advent? Share away in the comments!

And check back tomorrow for another “tiny” Christmas goody in the Crafty Christmas series. No I will not tell you just yet what it is …. ;-)

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


Easiest Christmas ornaments to make with kids

Here comes another post in my Crafty Christmas series. Another quick and kid friendly craft – how to make cute and SCENTED applesauce-cinnamon ornaments. You might have already seen this wreath in my tutorial on how to make crocheted gingerbread house tags. But this time we focus on the cute cookie-like ornaments. :-)

Now please – these are not meant to be eaten! They may look tasty! I am pretty sure they are not. But the good thing – they last several Christmases if you are not throwing them around too much. :-)

So how to make them? It is SUPEReasy. You can either google for applesauce-cinnamon recipes. Which I did. And then just ditch the recipes and throw together applesauce and cinnamon. Which I also did! *lol*

(I love google. But I get overwhelmed quickly.) 

1. Make dough:

So, I did not add other stuff. If you do search you will find all kinds of recipes … some call for glue and other things. I literally just mixed together the cinnamon and the applesauce. Now, you do need ALOT of cinnamon so you might not want to use the best and most expensive one you have around. I used about 2 parts cinnamon and 1 part applesauce. But it does depend alot on what consistency your applesauce has so I encourage you to just play around and add a little at a time.

 You wanna end up with something dough-like that is not too sticky. I only made a rather small batch but it made quite a bunch of ornaments! 

2. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter

Now let your kids get “dirty”! ;-) Sprinkle cinnamon on the table to prevent the dough to stick to it.

 (WARNING! Do NOT use flour for this AT ALL! I did that last year – I thought I am clever – and the ornaments with the flour ended up with some rather not so pretty mold on them. :-/ You do not want to have that believe me! Especially not if it is followed by a discussion with your 2-year old WHY on earth you are throwing out HIS amazing work!)

You can roll out the dough with a rolling pin – but you can just as well press it flat with your hands. That is what we did and the kids can help!

Then go nuts with your cookie cutters!

(Smaller shapes work best. Also very intricate shapes might break easily.)

3. Let your “cookies” dry

In order for the ornaments to harden I just put them on a plate and let them sit near the heater for a couple of days. I have read that some people bake them. I never did that. 

I was never in a hurry AND if you let them sit and dry your house will smell AMAZING like cinnamon.

So if you happen to get sick from the smell of cinnamon – please do not do this project. ;-)

After the ornaments are dry (it does take a few days) you can draw some “icing” on them with acrylic paint if you like. Then hang and enjoy! 

If you like this post you might also like yesterday’s post on how to make fingerprint Christmas cards … or just hop on my email-list to not miss anything! :-)

Comments are highly appreciated as well. ;-)

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


Sneak peak into our Christmas mail

Have you already sent your Christmas cards? 

No? 

Well, here comes an inspiration for some quick handmade cards that are really easy and fun to make. Especially if you have kids that you can employ have fun with. ;-)

Just get out some paint – preferably not the water proof one! – let the kids dip their finger in it and make some fun marks on the cards. Then connect them to make Christmas lights and write a short message … DONE!

This was actually not my idea. I found it last year somewhere on pinterest and a google-search pointed me to this tutorial as the original source. Hope that is correct!

When you read the tutorial you will notice that I did change up it up a bit. I just let my kids put colourful blobs onto the cards with their finger (not thumb) anywhere – and I connected them later with a dark grey pencil instead of drawing the line first. That way no “Oh no, you put the light ON the line”-incidents could happen! ;-)

So, have you sent your cards yet?

 

This is actually part of a small Crafty-Christmas series. Yesterday I posted a tutorial on how to make crocheted gingerbread house tags. Check it out HERE. And tomorrow … well, you will have to check back tomorrow … ;-)

More Inspiration via email for you?


 

How to make your own gingerbread house tags (free pattern)

When I was at my first market selling buttons EVER people were very interested in my decoration. (It really got me to the point where I was wondering if I am selling the right thing. *lol*)

One of my decorational pieces were these little gingerbread house tags. As a little pre-Christmas gift just for you I decided to put up the instructions so if you are interested in making your own – well, now you can ;-)

This is actually the first post of a little mini-blogpost series “Crafty Christmas”. So if you like it be sure to stop by tomorrow to get more Christmassy DIY inspiration. 

This project is perfect for beginners,too. Very easy! 

Edited 18th November 2013: If you want to be one of the first to hear about my next crochet pattern … then sign up for my newsletter. :-) New crochet pattern coming soon!

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


  

Crocheted Gingerbread House Tag

supplies:

-yarn in dark brown and white 
-crochet hook matching your yarn 

 

Now, let’s do it! :-)

Chain 10 and chain 1 more for turning:

1. row: single crochet into second stitch from hook until the end (10 stitches), chain 1 for turning:

 2.-8. row: single crochet each stitch (10 stitches), chain 1 for turning. When you are done it should look like this:

9. row: Start decreasing for the roof. Crochet first two stitches together, single crochet into each stitch until you reach the last two, crochet last two stitches together, chain 1 for turning (8 stitches).

10. row: Repeat 9th row (6 stitches).

11. row: Repeat 9th row (4 stitches).

12. row: Repeat 9th row (2 stiches).

13. row: Crochet last 2 stitches together. Pull yarn through and finish off. Your house tag is done and should look like this:

 With some white yarn single crochet around the “roof”. When you are at the top chain 25 and slip stitch to the “base”. This way you form a loop which you can use to hang your cute tag. Finish the “roof”.

Now, very important step – you need to block your cute tags in order for them to look pretty.  Spray them with some starch, let dry and … embellish and use them to decorate! 

I used some of my tiny handmade gingerbread buttons (CLICK to see them) for embellishment. But of course you can use something else just as well.  See:

Done! Was that easy?

 

Please – pretty please with cherry on top – leave me a comment how you liked the pattern! It is my first pattern that I am sharing so I am super excited! :-)

P.S. Let me know as well, if you are interested in knowing how to make the teeny crocheted hearts.

EDITED: Wanna see how I made the teeny tiny crocheted hearts? No problem – here is the free tutorial. :-) And if you like what I share please sign up for my free newsletter below or here.

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


 

Ever seen a knitting mouse?

Judging by the activity on here you might think I am not really doing anything. But I was quite busy during the last days preparing for my first craft market/ fair ever! It is a small local Christmas market and I am very excited to be part of it!

And I will get to use my new business cards. ;-) Very curious what it will be like. 

 

The mouse in the photo will accompany me to the market. She lives in the suitcase where all my buttons will be displayed. It seems that she got bored and stole some of my decorating yarn balls and … started knitting. What else should you do when bored, right?! ;-)

Have you ever sold at a craft market/fair?

Any advice or stories? Please share in the comments!

 

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


 

Gingerbread buttons … for a gingerbread house

Finally I can reveal why my summer seems so Christmasy. :-)
It actually does not really have to do much with Christmas after all. Or at least it does not have to … (It can however. *lol*)

The gingerbread buttons I made are *drumroll* for a crochted gingerbread house!
Which I designed and crocheted. :-)

Photo with permission of OZ-Verlag

And yes, many people associate gingerbread houses with Christmas. However, I quite like to read the fairytale of Hänsel and Gretel at other times of the year, too. Don’t you?

And the pattern can be seen in the journal Anna Special by the OZ-VERLAG. The full title is  Originelle Köstlichkeiten – Süßes + Herzhaftes zum Häkeln, Nähen, Filzen and you can order it HERE .

Apart from the pattern to my crocheted gingerbread house it also contains other tutorials for yummy treats … sewn, crocheted, felted …

Btw, my cute crocheted gingerbread house does not only look cute – it can also be quite useful. :-) It is the perfect size as a pincushion.

 

But if you really want to of course you can also give them as little gifts for Christmas. :-)

P.S. Of course you can also use these tiny buttons to decorate a sewn gingerbread house … or a knitted one … or a felted one … ;-)

More Inspiration via email for you?


 

Gingerbread buttons

I am still waiting for a photo so I can finally show you why I am making gingerbread buttons in the middle of summer.

But now I would like to show you that my products actually are 100% HANDMADE.

Not just the buttons themselves are handmade. But also the little tags, that the buttons are sewn onto are made with lots of love by my hands! :-)

1 -This is what the button tag looks in the beginning.

2 – The tag gets stamped.

3 – The tag gets cut. By hand. 

4 – And this is just to test you and see whether you are really paying attention while reading. ;-)

5 – A hole is punched into the tag. Again by hand. 

6 – The tag gets a dashed line – also by hand.

7 – Finally the buttons are sewn onto the tag. Of course – by hand. :-)

Pretty?

 
More Inspiration via email for you?


 

Wall Christmas tree – or Christmas card recycling

 

I guess it is a bit late for showing photos of Christmas trees. But we put away our “real” Christmas tree yesterday which kinda put me in the mood to show off one last Christmas project that I had done: a Christmas tree for the wall.

 
  
I had put this one in the kids’ room and my kids really liked it. My first idea was actually to make a tree out of stars that are affixed directly to the wall. But then I saw this Walltree DIY by Matthew Mead via Oh my handmade:
And if you do not know Oh my handmade – go check it out NOW!!! Seriously, you are missing out!
 
Photo by Matthew Mead via Oh my Handmade
 
Wow! I loved it! But I did not have such cute patterned paper. And really did not want to buy any just for this one project. So … Christmas card recycling! ;-)
 
I do not get that many Christmas cards, but the ones that I do get I can not throw away. So I had collected a few over the years. This seemed like a perect way to use them.
 
And when I saw the beautiful “woolen” Christmas trees by Eline Pellinkhof it was the last inspiration I needed. 
Her blog by the way is also VERY beautiful. Very pretty pictures – so again, GO! :-)
 
So here is what I did:
1. Used a huge shaped “hole” punch to cut stars out of my old Christmas cards.
(If you turn around your “hole” punch you can see where you are cutting.) Put a hole into the star.
2. Thread all the stars onto some cotton thread. 
3. Started crocheting the chain stitch. After a certain number of stitches pulled a star to the crochet hook and crocheted “over” the star so it stays in place.
4. After the star garland was done I used masking tape to affix it to the wall. I added a straw star to the top as well. Done! :-)
 
 
(Of course you do not have to use crochet. You can also just knot the stars to some yarn. But you might want to use thicker yarn than I did if you wanna skip the crocheting part.)

The best thing is that next year I can use the garland again. Either as a wall Christmas tree – or as a garland for my windows or the Christmas tree or …
 
If you have not thrown out or packed away your old Christmas cards yet you could make a star garland now and pack it away for next Christmas. This way you have a nice new handmade decoration ready to use without doing anything when you unpack your Christmas stuff next time. 
 
More Inspiration via email for you?