Showing posts with label Decorating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decorating. Show all posts

16 December 2013

Fabulously Festive Cardboard Chandeliers



When I was still living in Holland, my mom, my sister, and I would get together every year at the beginning of December to do something Christmas-y. We would make a wreath, needle felt a Santa Claus, or visit a Christmas market. I miss that. So, after we moved back to Wisconsin, I introduced this lovely tradition to my family here.



I get together with my aunt and my cousin’s wife, kids are included, every first weekend of December and we do something crafty. This year we made Finnish Stars. Since I already have a Christmas tree full of them, I tried my hand at origami Christmas trees while supervising the folding, weaving, and gluing of strips of sheet music.



The origami tree turned out very cute, but it wasn’t what I had hoped it would be. I just couldn’t see my Christmas table full of them in various colors and sizes.

But then my eye fell on the stack of cardboard from my aunt’s recent shopping trip for Swedish dining room furniture and I immediately thought: “Cardboard chandeliers, how #fabulouslyfestive!” And a perfect project for Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts’ Celebrate The Season campaign.



I am hosting Christmas dinner for twenty this year. The twelve big people will dine at the ping pong table in the living room, and the eight smaller people, I cannot call them little anymore, will sit at the kitchen table. My plan is to make three cardboard chandeliers, two for the adult table, and one for the kitchen.

If you would like to work along with me, here is what you’ll need:
My chandeliers are approximately 18” by 18”. I started out by making a rough sketch on a piece of paper, making sure my design was not too intricate. I then copied the drawing onto a clean sheet of cardboard. To ensure symmetry, I drew a 1” grid on the cardboard, making all my male relatives (engineers and physicists the lot of them) proud, no doubt. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this so I cannot prove it. I have witnesses, though.




Once I was happy with the result, I cut out the chandelier with my X-acto knife. This is a laborious task, I have to say. I cut until my fingers hurt from pushing the knife, and blisters started to form. This is when I quickly adjusted my plans to make three chandeliers down to two, and then down to one. What. A. Chore.

Ah, but when the cutting was done, it turned out so awesome and I immediately readjusted the number of chandeliers. In fact, I now want to make four, as soon as my hands heal. But first, we paint!



I use DecoArt’s Elegant Finish metallic paint in Glorious Gold. Fabulous paint, people! You can find it in the paint aisle at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts. Covers well, dries fast, and has a beautiful shimmer to it.




Once the painting is done, it is time to break out the glitter to make the flames extra sparkly.



Lather on the white glue:



Sprinkle on the gold glitter:



And secure with a few spritzes of clear coat to keep the glitter from falling off.



Heartless mother that I am, I deprived my six year-old who lives for this stuff-of adding the glitter to the flames. What can I say, I still have not gotten over the Great Glitter Explosion of 2011. I know, I should let it go already.

Once everything is dry, it’s time to decorate. For the trim I wanted lightweight strands of gold beads. I found the perfect stuff in the Great Deals aisle at Jo-Ann. They have the beads in two sizes and three colors: red, silver, and gold.



I cut small sections of the beads and secured them to one chandelier half with a drop of hot glue. Then I put the two chandelier halves together and glued the beads in place on the other half.
While I think they look great, they are a little wonky. I tried straightening them by adding weights and making the strands wet, but to no avail. Wonky beads it is then.



If, when you slide the two halves into each other, there is a large gap, secure that with a little hot glue.





By the way, should you run into a very large dog that, with one sweep of his tail, breaks off one of the chandelier arms, don’t fret. With a thin piece of wood, such as a match or even a toothpick, and some glue, this is easy to fix. Just dab some glue, I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue for this, on the wood and insert it into the broken pieces of cardboard. While it may wobble a little bit, it will not go anywhere after that and once you put the chandelier together, you’ll never be able to tell an arm was broken.



For the finishing touch, I made a small hole in the bottom of the chandelier and attached a crystal chandelier part. I happened to have some on hand from a previous project, but you could easily use large beads for this.



I hung my #fabulouslyfestive cardboard chandelier with some clear beading wire and stood back to enjoy the final result.



Fabulous!



And festive!



To make the chandeliers even more fabulous, you can add some battery operated fairy lights if you have them. Alternatively, you could use gold wire lights, found in the bridal department at Jo-Ann. Since I have no place to hide the battery pack, I didn’t do so for the chandelier in the kitchen. The living room is another story, though. We have big beams, perfect for setting a battery box on.







What do you think? #Fabulouslyfestive, or what? I am so pleased with how they turned out. Our Christmas will be merry and bright, for sure.

Find more #fabulouslyfestive inspiration at Jo-Ann and use a coupon for a fabulous 50% off.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!



This post is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. I received craft products and a gift card to write this post.

20 November 2013

Finnish Stars

I have never been much of a paper crafter. My idea of scrapbooking is sticking pictures in an album in a pleasing composition and adding the date the picture was taken. Possibly the location. Those years that I decide to make my own Christmas cards, it almost always involves ornaments made of fabric or wood (this year is no different), and my die cutting supplies are used for cutting fabric pretty much exclusively.


That doesn’t mean I don’t like paper crafts. On the contrary, I have devoted an entire Pinterest board to it. I just never seem to get around to making some. Until a few weeks ago. We were all up north visiting my parents-in-law. While my husband and his dad were out putzing in the woods, prepping for the upcoming hunting season, Lola and I tried our hand at making Finnish Stars. It couldn’t have been easier. And since all you need is one sheet of paper, it’s a pretty cheap craft, too!

What you will need:

  • One sheet of 12” by 12” paper, preferably printed on both sides
  • Glue stick
  • Paper cutter (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Paperclips
  • Small hole punch
  • String

Begin by cutting your sheet, I used vintage sheet music, into 3/4” strips. You’ll need twelve strips in total, two sets of six strips.

Start with two strips of paper, crossing one on top of the other, and securing them in the middle with a little glue. Make sure the four ends are of the same length.

Take a second strip of paper and glue it above your horizontal strip, leaving a little space in between, and making sure it is glued on the other side of the vertical strip. You will be weaving your paper strips, one over, one under.

Repeat with another strip below your first horizontal strip.

Now take the remaining two strips and weave them vertically over and under your horizontal strips, securing them at the intersections with a little glue.

Repeat these steps to make the second set.

Now comes the fun part. Take the two ends at the top, fold them towards you and glue in place. Secure with a paperclip while the glue dries. This is especially important if you are using a heavier cardstock.

Repeat this step with all four corners. Don’t worry about the middle strip at this point.

Do this to the other set as well.

When all your corners are glued in place, take one set, flip it over and place it on top of the other set, matching each middle piece of paper to a glued corner.

Carefully insert the middle paper strips into the the corners.

Glue them in place and let dry.

Once the glue is dry, take your scissors and trim the corners.

Take your hole punch and make a small hole in one of the corners and attach your string. Then go overboard and make half a dozen more.

Or bling ‘um up with a felt snowflake and some vintage costume jewelry.

Lovely, aren’t they? And so easy to make. Enjoy!

14 November 2013

Thanksgiving Table

Despite my longstanding wish to do so, I have yet to host a family dinner. We either spend the holidays at my parents-in-law or my brother and sister-in-law. It is definitely my turn. The plan was to host Thanksgiving this year. We have just moved into a new apartment so it can double as a housewarming. Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts asking me to design a Turkey Tablescape as part of their Celebrate The Season campaign was perfect timing, don’t you agree?



The plan has changed in the meantime however, and I will be hosting Christmas dinner instead. That does not keep me from having fun with my Turkey Tablescape.

My biggest challenge is the change in my surroundings. I like my d├ęcor to fit my house. Until recently we lived in a cute little Victorian in small town Wisconsin. Hardwood floors, light colored walls, pocket doors, covered porch, etc. Now we live in an industrial loft with exposed beams, brick walls, and the floors covered with oriental rugs. It feels rather bohemian and a lot more colorful.

My country decorating style with lots of white, galvanized steel, and natural materials must therefore change. That being said, the first thing I did was take an old grain sack and convert it to a table runner. My dining table is a very odd size, I commissioned it when I was still a single girl in Amsterdam, and it is impossible to find a table cloth or runner that fits. The grain sack has a beautiful orange print that matches the rest of the colors I picked beautifully.



I found three lovely pieces of fabric in my favorite spot at Jo-Ann’s: the remnant bin. It’s always hit or miss of course, but I love rummaging through the tidy rolls of fabric, seeing what I can come up with. In this case I found some yellow canvas and two pieces of fall fabric. The colors in the leaf fabric on the left dictated my color scheme for my Turkey Tablescape.



Using Heat ‘n Bond, I adhered the colored fabric to the canvas and ran that thru my die cutter. I cut out a few dozen leaves in different shapes and sizes. The large maple leaves were used for place cards, paired with a smaller leaf cut from kraft card stock and an acorn made from a felt ball with an acorn cap.

The rest of the leaves were for my Thanksgiving Tree. It is not an original idea by any means, but I find it such a lovely sentiment. Our tree has fabric leaves on it, felt ball acorns, and kraft paper leaves on which we can write what we are thankful for.



I brought in a dead branch, let it dry, and spray painted it gold. I used Rust-oleum American Heritage Craft and Hobby Enamel which is an absolutely fabulous spray paint. It covers beautifully, dries very fast, and is a gorgeous warm gold color. Unfortunately I am now out of paint and cannot find it anywhere. If you know of a place, do let me know.

I put my gold branch in an antique pitcher and used real acorns as filling. Then it was just a matter of hot gluing the colored leaves and felt acorns to the tree, and cutting out the cardstock leaves. To attach them to the Thanksgiving Tree, I made simple S-hooks from 20 gauge craft wire with the aid of a pencil. The paper leaves sit with the S-hooks and a sharpie in a small dish next to the pitcher, neatly covering up the stain in the grain sack I was not able to remove.



For my centerpiece I used a hollow piece of bark that I found in the woods a few years back. I usually slip it over a vase, but I thought it would look great on the table with goodies spilling out. A double-sided cornucopia if you will. I filled it with real pumpkins and squash, colorfully painted paper-mache pumpkins, dried okra pods (I was too late harvesting the pods for canning but they make very funky decorations), two year old chestnuts no longer fit for consumption, and large acorn caps.



I was never much of a gold girl, but it works really well for me here. I used gold square chargers with simple white plates and blue goblets. I even brought out the genuine silverware! Of course, now I want gold chargers for Christmas, too, but since we are talking about twenty people, that can be a bit pricy. Not to worry, I have a plan. More to come on that at a later date.



Do you see the napkins? Lola and I made them. In the goody box Jo-Ann sent me at the start of the Celebrate The Season campaign were several containers of Ink Effects, a paint that is easily transferred to fabric with an iron. You paint any design on paper, let it dry, turn your paper upside down on your fabric, and transfer your design with the aid of a hot iron.



Lola designed three of the four napkins, and I did the last one as well as the ironing.



While I may not be hosting Thanksgiving this year, we will be bringing the place cards and the napkins up north later this month. My centerpiece looks very cheerful on the table and the Thanksgiving Tree sees new leaves added every day. After all, we have so much to be thankful for.

More inspiration for Thanksgiving #turkeytablescapes and crafts can be found in Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Celebrate The Season website. And do not forget to check out JoAann's weekly online ad. Of course we wouldn’t leave you without a nice 50% off coupon.

Happy Thanksgiving!



This post is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. I received craft products and a gift card to write this post.

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