Wednesday December 11, 2013
I don't like to throw anything away if I can reuse it. That is why I save my Christmas cards each year, and then re-purpose them after the New Year. As I get the cards, I hang them from the top of the trim in each doorway on the first floor of my home. Between my friends, family, and fellow church members, I end up with quite a large sum of Christmas cards. I thought it would be fitting to discuss a few ways to reuse those Christmas cards.
One year I put together a scrapbook to display the many memories that my family and I made over the Christmas season. Instead of purchasing Christmas scrapbooking paper, I used the Christmas cards. I just sort of made a collage out of them, keeping like cards on the same page.
Make a Box
Another option for reusing your Christmas cards is to create a box out of them. You can read exactly how to do that HERE, as well as see a picture tutorial of how to do it. You can use the box to hold some candy, small trinkets, or a few special pieces of Christmas jewelry.
Crocheted Greeting Card Bowl
This crocheted greeting card bowl is a fun craft for teens and adults. The bowl makes a beautiful centerpiece by itself, but also works to hold a few candy canes or peppermints for any guests that may come visiting.
Make New Cards
Most of the time, people only write on the right-hand side of the Christmas cards. If you have cards like this, simply tear off the front page of the card. You can glue this page to a blank card or a piece of construction paper in order to make a new Christmas card.
Should you have any Christmas cards left over after reusing some to make new crafts, consider donating them to St. Jude's Ranch for Children. They have a Recycled Card Program that helps them raise money to support their programs that help abused children, children that are neglected or homeless, as well as young adults and families.
Saturday December 7, 2013
The kids and I have really been into our Elf on the Shelf
this year. We named our elf Roxie. We even bought her a cute skirt at Barnes and Noble.
While strolling around the World Wide Web on vacation, I came across elf donuts (see picture above). I thought this was such a clever idea. Not only can you use the elf donuts as a prop when positioning your elf around mischief, but you can also leave the elf donuts out for Santa to take back to the North Pole. Of course, you can also give them to your kids as a special treat for dessert one night.
So how do you make the elf donuts? This is surprisingly simple. Looks like most folks just used toasted oats (like Cheerios). I'm guessing you could also use other cereals that come in the shape of an O, such as Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops.
Once you pick out your cereal, you can frost the top of each piece of cereal with some icing. Then add jimmies or sprinkles for decoration. A few are coated with cinnamon, which would also give the elf donuts and pleasant aroma.
Some folks are even making tiny boxes to store about a dozen elf donuts. This reminds me of our local bakery. I haven't attempted this craft yet, but I sure think it would be something my kids would enjoy. If don't have a tiny box available, you can make one out of a greeting card.
Thursday December 5, 2013
While I was visiting family in Florida, we got a chance to make a gingerbread dog house
from a kit. I placed a picture of my daughter's gingerbread dog house above so you could see what came with the kit. After completing this activity, I decided to compare and contrast using a kit verses making a gingerbread house
Gingerbread House Kit
All of the supplies are provided for you in one box.
No need to dye the icing. Each color icing came in its own bag.
Not much planning is needed. You can only use what is in the box.
One low cost (usually between $10 and $20 per kit).
You are limited in how you can decorate your gingerbread house.
The pieces are suppose to fit together, but often don't.
The icing isn't as sticky and was a bit hard to work with.
Creating Your Own Gingerbread House
You can create your own design.
You have unlimited candy for decorations at your disposal.
You can make your house big or small
The cost is higher because you have to buy all of your pieces separately.
It is more time consuming. You have to mix your own icing colors and gather your own supplies.
It can be hard to cut the gingerbread pieces without breaking them.
After using both a kit and making my own gingerbread houses, I decided I prefer to make the houses from scratch even though it costs more and takes a bit more time. I am just curious. Which method do you guys and gals prefer?
Tuesday November 26, 2013
I love creating scented pinecones during the fall season. It isn't that hard either. This year, the girls and I made a string of cinnamon pinecones to hang across an archway in my dining room. Here's how we did it:
Gather a basket of pinecones from your backyard. If you don't have any, try a nearby park. Our park has plenty of walking trails that are filled with pinecones.
Lay your pinecones out on a baking sheet. They are most likely still full of sap. The easiest way to dry up the sap is to set the pinecones in an oven for 20 minutes at 200 degrees. This is also a great way to open the pinecones up if they already closed up. Let the pinecones cool before continuing.
Next, you need to pick your scent. We grated fresh cinnamon sticks down so that we could give our pinecones a cinnamon vanilla odor. If you are using an essential oil to scent your pinecone, you'll need an eye dropper.
Finally, paint a little glue on your pinecone and sprinkle the spice over it. When the glue dries, the spice will stick to the pinecone. Administer any liquid scents with the eye dropper. We added about 3 drops of vanilla to each pinecone.
Now you can display your scented pinecones. You have the option of tying a string to the pinecones and hanging them as ornaments from your Christmas tree, placing them in a bowl as a centerpiece for your kitchen table, or simply setting them in the bathroom to keep the bathroom smelling pleasant.