I'm Spending Christmas in a Dorm Room (So 12 Days of Christmas DIY is Ending Early)

I'm cancelling 12 Days of Christmas DIY early this year. I had good intentions with this series. I truly did. I started it last year and it was so much fun. I was hesitant this year because there was so much going on.

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Tasty Christmas Candy Treats

Because Christmas deserves some homemade yummy, chocolately, minty treats.

12 Days of Christmas DIY - Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Because your outdoor space needs more than a blow up Santa this holiday season.

Special Valentine's Day Edition of Cookies with Mr. T: Chocolate Truffles

The title is a bit misleading this time, as instead of baking cookies I am making chocolate truffles for Valentine's Day. This recipe is easy and delicious, so enjoy!

Fun DIY Valentine's Day Presents

I feel like Monica on Friends. Make the presents. Make the presents. (People still get that reference, right?) Anyway, homemade presents are my favorite thing. Always have been. Probably always will be. I don't know why. Maybe it's the crafty gal in me or maybe it's just the feeling I get when people open up something unique that was crafted just for them. So, after some fighting discussing about what we wanted to do for Valentine's Day, Mr. T and I have decided we will make presents for each other. I really wish I could share all the details about what I am making for him, but obviously I can't since he reads this blog. It's really awesome though and I promise to share after Valentine's Day. Here are some other really great ideas for DIY Valentine's Day presents.

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Home is Wherever I'm With You Sign

Ok. I may have stole this idea from Mr. T because he saw it first and he actually made it for me as a wedding present. It is truly one of the most wonderful and special gifts I've ever received. I might have cried a tiny bit or had some dirt in my eye when I opened it. There are lots of variations of it. In fact, if you look on Etsy you can buy a million of them. But it's easy to make (I know this since Mr. T is not the crafty one in the relationship).

All you need is:

  • Frame
  • Map  or some sort of picture of the location of your choice
  • Cardstock
  • Box cutter or some other tool that allows you to cut shapes out of paper
  • Glue

All you do is:

1. Cut a heart out of the card stock, glue paper behind it, and write the words "Home is Wherever I'm With You.

2. Place in frame.

3. Done.

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Coffee Filter flowers

Gals adore flowers, right? Well, flowers also die. So, make her some that don't. My sister actually made a bunch of these for my shower and my wedding and they were so beautiful and easy to make. They're also super inexpensive. I found this really great tutorial over here.

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Make a Mosaic Book

Disclaimer: I was actually approached by this company and was able to try out their service for free. I made a book of honeymoon pictures and it was seriously one of the easiest books I've ever made. And I promise I am not just saying that. I think it took me about 10 minutes and the hardest part was figuring out what pictures I wanted to use. All you do is download the free app on your phone, select the pictures of your choice, and then click done. They show you a little snap shot of your book that you can virtually flip through. Per the email I received, my book will arrive on February 10 (I made it on February 4) so they have pretty fast turn around time too. Check out this link for more details.

Goodies

Ok. So we all know I am obsessed with goodies as gifts and so clearly Valentine's Day is no different. I feel like it's one of the easiest holidays to make treats for though. You can make heart shaped cookies or cupcakes with cute little hearts on them. So many possibilities. You can use any of my Christmas goody ideas for inspiration or check out this yummy recipe for chocolate dipped pretzels. (Aheam, shameless plug alert. You can also put your goodies in one of the really fun and cute goody bags that I have in my online shop)

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Heart Confetti Coffee Mugs

This is the most adorable thing ever. If your valentine is a coffee or tea drinker this is definitely a good choice. The tutorial looks really fun and easy. In fact, if I wasn't banned from adding anymore coffee mugs to our collection (I just bought four more at Target the other day), I would probably make them for myself. Can someone please make them and report back?

Darby Smart

You knew this was coming, right? Seriously though, Darby Smart has some really cute things for Valentine's Day and just some really great kits. I actually made Mr. T's wedding present with a Darby Smart kit (they were cufflinks and he adored them). The kits are priced really well and come with everything you need to make a really fab DIY project. They even include step by step projects. My recommendations: Homemade Gin Kit, Stamped Silver Keychain, and Metal Stamped Bracelets.

And, of course I have to throw in one more shameless plug. If you're looking for some fun cards or things to wrap your gifts in check out my stationery store. I have lots of cute, fun, and non-mushy cards. As well as bags to put all your fun gifts in.

What are some of your DIY present ideas?

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Winter Wonderland

And on the twelfth day of Christmas I'm giving you ideas to make your own winter wonderland. (I'll be back after the 1st of the year with new posts and some great features)

On the last day of my 12 Days of Christmas DIY it seems only fitting to give you tips on how to make a cozy winter setting for whatever you'd like it for. It's great for parties or just watching movies or if you live some place warm and just want a hint of the winter season. Stuff like this always reminds me of Elf when he decorated everything like the North Pole. It's the best. Here are some ideas.

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Paper snowflakes

Mr. T made one of these for me last year and it was the cutest thing ever. I actually hung it in the window for the longest time. All you really need is white paper and scissors. Then fold it and cut away and hang the finished product with white ribbon, yarn, string, or fishing line. Here's a great tutorial.

macaroni-snowflakes

Make snowflakes with glue and pasta

If you buy the pasta shaped like wheels it's really easy to glue it together like a snowflake. Then you can spray paint it white and modge podge with a little glitter to make it look like snow. I don't have a picture of this since I haven't tried it, but this website over here has some great images and a really great tutorial.

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Make your own window clings

I saw this tutorial the other day and thought it was genius. I usually buy mine at Target for like $1, but this idea is even better. You could even spray a little fake snow for even more of a frosty look.

Make marshmallow garland

This is easy, fun and would totally add a little something to your winter wonderland decor.

 

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Wrapping Presents

And on the tenth day of Christmas DIY, I'm giving you ideas for wrapping packages. Presents. Wrapping presents. Honestly, they can be a pain (amirite?). From spending an oddly insane amount of money on all of the supplies to wrap a present (seriously, it's just paper and bows right?) to figuring out how to make it all work with your packages. Oh and then also the frustration of have 994 feet of wrapping paper left. I always say I will use it next year, but I never do. Partially because I can never find the stuff. So, why not get crafty to eliminate all the worries and stress (and have a really cute and awesome package to give to you friends and family)? Here are some ideas for DIY wrapping paper.

Polka dot stamps

Kraft Paper

OK, technically kraft paper itself is not a DIY, but there are so many things you can do with it. So many that I couldn't even list them all out. You can stamp it with holiday stamps, draw on it, paint it, use washi tape, or do this awesome polka dot stuff over here. The best part is, if you buy too much kraft paper, you can use it for a variety of things and a variety of occasions.

Wrap with newspaper

I know, it sounds a little crazy, but it can be really awesome. You don't have to just grab a paper off the stand, you can be creative. Find an old newspaper or use the sports section for a sports fan.

Recycled paper bows

Make recycled magazine bows

You can still get crafty if you buy paper or you could even use these babies on your other homemade wrappings to complete the job. Here's an easy tutorial.

Put it in a fancy box you can decorate

Mr. T gave his groomsfolk (I call them that since he had a close gal friend in his wedding party) a little "kit" with some beer, a glass, and a bottle opener. Instead of just throwing them in a bag, we put them in a box that you can get at your local craft store. Then we painted the box, put everyone's name on it and then put some fun decorations on it. You could totally do the same thing for Christmas.

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Homemade Christmas Smells

And on the seventh day of Christmas I'm bringing you ideas to make your home smell like a whole lot of Christmas love. One thing that I love about the Christmas season is all the great smells it brings. Cinnamon and freshly cut fir. Peppermint and holiday goodies. I have candles, tarts, and air fresheners galore. But you just can't beat homemade smells. So here are some ideas for DIY fragrances to fill your home.

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Christmas Potpourri

I know, I know. Potpourri is a little 1994, but hear me out on this one. Mr. T makes this spiced wine and it fills the room with all of these delicious flavors. Many that are in this potpourri recipe that I found. Seriously, you want your home to smell like this.

I also found this recipe that uses a few different scents in case you want to mix it up. I seriously can't wait to try this stuff.

 

cinnamon vanilla candle

Cinnamon Vanilla Candles

I'm not crazy about vanilla, but give me cinnamon any day. This candle made with a vanilla candle and cinnamon sticks sounds amazing. I think it would fill your house with so many awesome smells and it just looks all pretty and festive. I would assume you could also make your own vanilla candle. I am definitely trying this next year.

Cinnamon scented pine cones

Cinnamon Scented Pine Cones

No, I promise I am not obsessed with cinnamon (well, maybe I am). But these cinnamon scented pin cones sound easy and so festive. Like the candles, the would be so pretty sitting around the house and that also means you can spread the smell to any room you like.

DIY scented candles

 

DIY Scented Candle

We all know that I am obsessed with mason jars so anytime there is a project involving them, I am on board. These candles look pretty easy to make and I like that you could do different scents for different rooms in the house. I love having every room smell nice, but not the same.

 

peppermint ornaments

Peppermint Ornaments

I guess these double as DIY ornaments as well (in fact, you could use the cinnamon ornaments that I suggested to add some smelly goods to your home). These ornaments are easy, fun, and will make your whole home smell like peppermint!

 

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Homemade Christmas Cards

And on the third day of Christmas, I'm giving you ideas for DIY Christmas cards. This year was the first year in a long time that I sent out cards and it was the first year that I was able to send cards with Mr. T. I wanted to last year, but it just didn't seem to happen. One reason was that I didn't really like any of the cards that I saw in the store andthey are also insanely expensive. But I thought that making cards would be too much and I really didn't want to get into the photo cards just yet. So this year I decided to make my own and it was actually fairly easy (I only freaked out like one time about it). Here are some ideas to make your own Christmas Cards.Christmas Cards

 

Embossed cards

A lady at Paper Source introduced me to the wonderful world of embossing when we were there looking for things for the wedding. I seriously have never looked back. It's the most amazing thing ever and it gives your cards a little something extra.

Here's how to do it:

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Supplies:

  • Embossing stamp pad
  • Embossing powder
  • Heating tool (you can usually find this with all the above stuff in a section together near the stamps)
  • Card stock (you can usually find a set that has cards and envelopes for a good price at your local craft store)
  • Stamps

Directions:

  • Use the stamp like you would if you were stamping a color (accept it will be clear since you stamped it with an embossing pad) and stamp your paper.
  • Pour embossing powder onto the shape you stamped on the paper, shake off excess, and use the heating tool.You will notice the powder start to change. Don't use it for too long because it will burn off. It doesn't take very long. It cools/dries in seconds and you have a really cool professional looking card.
  • I usually work with extra sheets of card stock to shake off the excess because it's much easier than shaking it into the container of powder.
  • You can use different colors, just make sure you do them one at a time or you'll end up mixing your powder or ruining a bunch and have to waste it.
  • Also don't be shocked by the price or the size of the embossing powder. A little goes a very long way.

Embossed Cards

Stamped cards

Stamped cards are definitely fun, easy, and not very time consuming. All you need are stamps, ink, and card stock. All found at the craft store. It's so easy to crank out a bunch at one time and have some fun, festive cards to spread holiday cheer to your friends and family.

Fabric, buttons, tissue paper, and/or construction paper

I don't mean to get all old school, but there are a ton of really great, cheap, and easy to find supplies to make a great DIY Christmas card. You could cut out holiday shapes or glue buttons like ornaments of polka dots. The possibilities are endless.

Print your own

There are many, many sites where you can make your own cards and then have them shipped to you. We used one of those for our save the dates. The only issue is that some of them are really costly. I mean, if you only have a few to buy then $2 or more a card isn't a big deal, but most people have a lot more. So, instead, print your own. There are many sites where you can find free fonts for personal use. Font Spring is a great one and they have a lot of really inexpensive fonts if this is something you'll do often.

Image sites like PicMonkey offer an array of options for pictures and all kinds of things you can add to it for some holiday fun.

And, you don't just have to stop at these ideas. Look to Pinterest for inspiration and check out this BuzzFeed article with some really amazing ideas. I can't wait to see what other people think of!

Read more in this series:

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Christmas Tree Ornaments

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Christmas Decor

 

 

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Christmas Decor

And on the second day of Christmas DIY, I'm giving you Christmas Decor ideas. Like ornaments, if you don't have Christmas decor for your home, you can spend a fortune decking your halls with holiday cheer. So why not add a few homemade things to the mix? Here are some great ideas,

Sparkly Branches

Sparkly branches

I don't care what anyone says, 'tis the season for all that sparkles and glitters. I saw these while I was searching for ideas for my home decor. I didn't make them, but I think they would be really easy and add a little something to your holiday decor. I also think they could serve purposes for other decor (ahem, weddings), but that's a whole other blog post.

Glitter Reindeer

Glitter reindeer

Again, it's time for glitter my friends. I think that this glitter reindeer would be perfect to hang on a door. It's more fun and less traditional than a wreath, but still screams holiday fun.

Ornament Garland

Ornament garland

I love the look of this ornament garland. I think there are so many possibilities with this one. You could do all silver or silver and gold or multicolored like the picture or even red and green. Like I said, endless possibilities here. This would be perfect for a mantle or would even work as a table runner. You can put it anywhere that you need to spread a little holiday fun.

Holiday Centerpiece

 

Make an easy centerpiece

You can take my easy fall centerpiece idea and switch it up for Christmas. Add some little ornaments or holiday foam shapes or candy canes or anything you want. I found these cute little wood shapes at Michael's to switch mine up. There are snowflakes, trees, and fun little holiday seasons. It's just a little touch to add in some fun. And you can place it anywhere. It actually works really well on a coffee table.

Glitter Jar Candle

 

Glitter mason jar candle holders

I've yet to mention and give the tutorial, but my sister and I made 994 mason jar candles for the wedding. We mostly did burlap, ribbon, and lace (which would be holidayish as well), but you can also do glitter just as easy. All you really have to do is coat a jar with mod podge and then put glitter on it. Then add another layer of mod podge to keep it all together. Let it dry and voila, instant pretty candle. You can do it in holiday colors if you like.

 

Darby Smart kits

As usual, Darby Smart has a ton of really cute kits for the holidays. A lot of them are sold out, but you can of course use them for your own inspiration.

 

There are, of course, countless other ideas. Far too many for me to feature in one post. Just search Pinterest and you will find a million. Hopefully this has inspired you!

12 Days of Christmas DIY: Christmas Tree Ornaments

We've already established how much I adore Christmas time. And I realized while brainstorming content for this week/month that I have a whole lot of holiday DIY ideas to share. So, I thought it might be fun (and genius) to share them 12 Days of Christmas style. Starting today and running through Christmas I will be sharing all of my holiday themed DIY ideas with 12 Days of Christmas DIY. And on the first day, I'm giving you a few ideas for some fun DIY Christmas tree ornaments.

Last year was my first official Christmas with Mr. T. He moved in November 1 and later that month we talked about putting up a tree and decorating for the holidays. The only issue? We had nothing. I mean, nothing. We spent a fortune at Target buying all of the trimmings. And that was even after we legitimately set a budget and tried to be smart about our purchases. I don't regret it one bit, but this year I realized there are so many ways you can spruce up your tree without trashing your holiday budget. The best part is that it adds to the holiday magic and really makes your tree yours. Here are some DIY ideas for tree decor.

Mustache ornaments

Homemade ornament kits from Darby Smart

Mr. T and I are obsessed with mustaches. It's partially from our proposal, but it's also just something we love. I found this awesome kit from Darby Smart to make cute little bulb ornaments with mustaches on them. They also have several other DIY ornament kits as well. Or you can order the ornaments separately and then just get creative with paint and glitter yourself. I found out the other day that if you mix paint, Mod Podge, and glitter it looks like snow. This might have been in the directions to one of my Darby Smart kits, but I didn't read them (oops) and then I actually discovered this with another project I am making. But, the possibilities are endless with this one. So many ideas and so much fun. I think they add a little something to our tree. It's a little Brooklyn hipstery, but I'm totally OK with that. Just be careful because they are not shatterproof like a lot of other ornaments. I broke two already.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornaments

Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornaments

OK, I promise I am not trying to totally hipster up anyone's tree here. But I saw these babies over on Makezine (they're originally from Amanda at Crafts by Amanda) and I thought they were simply adorable. I haven't tried to make them yet, but I think they would be really awesome on a tree and definitely unique. I am adding them to my list for next year.

 

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Foam ornament kits

Here me out here. I am mildly obsessed with foam cut outs and I do not know how it happened. Last year Mr. T and I found so many foam holidays things it was ridiculous. But one thing we did find was these cute little gingerbread men ornaments. They were super easy to make and definitely give the tree a little something. Darby smart has a few ornament kits and they are also pretty easy to find at craft stores.

 

non edible cinnamon ornaments

Non-edible Cinnamon Ornaments

I remember these from my childhood. I can't remember if we made them or bought them, but I can remember smelling them as we put up the tree. They are the best. My sister actually made a batch a few years ago and they are pretty easy to make. I found a good recipe over here and know there are several others out there. Just be careful with these because they are incredibly fragile.

 

Photo ornaments

Photo ornaments

I saw these the other day on Pinterest and think they would be easy and fun to make and definitely would look great on any Christmas tree. You could choose wedding or engagement photos or just snapshots that you love.

Decoupage ornaments

 

Decoupage ornaments

I am dying (I mean really dying) to make these, but I don't think it's in the cards for me this holiday season (not to mention the fact that Mr. T would probably kill me if I added anymore projects to our list). I think these are great because they add that homemade feel to your tree without overdoing it with too much color, glitter, and holiday stuff. I am definitely going to try it next year. The post doesn't really tell you how to make them, but there are all kinds of articles on how to decoupage ornaments. I also think you could easily do it with paper and a little Mod Podge.