Christmas Skis

I inherited my husband’s grandfather’s old wooden skis when I found them up in the pole shed and rescued them.I had to scrub the bird doo-doo off of them but they survived.  Since my house isn’t particularly woodsy cabin in style, I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but they look terrific leaning next to my faux fireplace with some greens and lights for decoration.

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I used artificial greens, a short string of 20 lights, artificial berries, and some rusty star metal garland that I picked up at a garage sale to decorate the skis. Everything is held on with a light gauge floral wire so it can easily be removed with no damage to the antiques. 100_4175
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At Christmas, I love to decorate my faux fireplace! I built the “fireplace” out of an old picture frame and scrap lumber we had around. Sometime, I’ll feature the fireplace on T2T. But back to the skis…

I’ve seen some other neat ideas with old skis on the web. If you’ve found a unique use for them, please, do share!
Merry Christmas!

I’m linking up this post to:
A Soft Place to Land – DIY Day
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Christmasification of Your Trash

I’ve been swamped with Christmas preparations (I bet you have too), but I wanted to take time to post a new trash to treasure idea. It’s just as fun to transform your T2T decorations into Christmas decorations as it is to transform them from trash to treasure!
Electric Lamp Unplugged
I found this stand lamp at a thrift sale but the wiring was in terrible shape and I was afraid of using it as an electric lamp. It was also missing all of the glass parts and it has the old cardboard tubes around the bases of the sockets which seems a little unsafe. I know, candles aren’t 100% safe either! But somehow, they seemed like a better idea. If you’ve seen old lamps like this, you know that it had a larger glass globe on top and some sort of smaller glass parts where each of the three bulbs insert.
I decided to turn it into a candelabra, so I cut the frayed electric cord off at the base and inserted glass pegged votive cups in each of the sockets. The top was a little more of a challenge, but I found a hurricane glass at another yard sale and set a clear flowerpot votive inside that. I know, it’s a lot of pieces and parts, but I’m a junkie and I like hunting for parts. I finished it off by slipping a flower candle ring around the stem (it’s a pillar candle ring). I can burn tealights or votives in the holders.
Here is what the candelabra looks like.

Now for the holiday fun! When I got out the Christmas decorations this year, I decided to remove the year-round decorations and add some Christmas ones. I wrapped a piece of pine garland around the stem and added a couple of bows.

I also added a few silver Christmas tree ornaments and changed out the candles for red ones.

There you have it! The Christmasification of some of my junk. 

I’m linking up this week to:

Reinvented’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday
The Thrifty Home’s Penny Pinching Party 
The Shabby Nest -Frugal Friday Link Party 
A Soft Place to Land’s DIY Day 
The Shabby Chic Cottage Transformation Thursday
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Family Photo Gift Ideas

I love crafting. So today, I’m featuring something that isn’t trash to treasure. Some of the ideas could easily use recycled objects, but I just felt like sharing some Christmas gift ideas with you. I’ve been working on homemade Christmas gifts all weekend but I’m not telling what I made, just in case the recipients happen to be readers. As we approach Christmas and we think about what is most important to us, I think of the people in my family. And as I think of the people in my family, I think of photos and memories captured on film. I take a lot of pictures!
One of the most precious gifts we can give to someone else is a photo that brings hearts together across the miles. So today, as I break from my usual decorating ideas, here are some photo gift ideas that I found on the web and wanted to share with you. Maybe you’ll bless someone dear to you with a photo gift this season.
Christmas Gift Ideas that Touch the Heart
Photo Block Puzzle

At HowDoesShe.com, these photo blocks caught my eye. Your photo size will depend on your block size and you can vary it by having just 4 blocks too. Just remember, you’ll need photos for 6 sides! It’s easy to print them on a laser printer and decoupage them onto the blocks. Or if you use an inkjet printer, be a little more careful with your gluing.

Photo by www.howdoesshe.com

Using a trimmer or paper cutter, cut, your photo into squares and glue it on. Then flip the blocks to a blank side and do the same with another photo. Keep going until all sides are covered. You’ve now created an easy photo puzzle!

Photo Booklet
This photo booklet from Family Fun Magazine is easy to create and has printable instructions for you.

  Photo from Family Fun Magazine

Baby Mobile

A baby mobile made from recycled used Cd’s and colorful paper with family photos at Parents Magazine’s site.

Photo from Parent’s Magazine website.
Unique Photo Blocks and Books and Clocks
Better Homes and Gardens offers these unique scraps of wall molding that have been turned into photo displays.
From Better Homes and Gardens
They’ve also recycled old books into a photo display.
Photo from Better Homes and Gardens
And finally, this photo clock from Better Homes. It’s easy to pop the front off most low-cost clocks. Just  carefully take the hands off the clock setting them aside in the order you removed them. Then remove the paper insert for a template. If it isn’t removable, trace the clock to get the closest fit possible. lightly tack the photo in place and replace the clock hands. So easy!
Photo from Better Homes and Gardens
What photo gift ideas can you share? Post a link to the site in the comments below. With these ideas, you’ll be giving homemade personalized gifts this season with little effort.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Light Bulb Snowmen

I’m back! I’ve recovered a good portion of my data from the hard drive crash and I’m getting things back on track. Thanks for your patience during my week off. Today, I want to introduce you to some chilly little recycled friends. 
Light Bulb Snowmen
Level of Difficulty: Complicated steps and materials
Time: Not a short project because of dry time and detailed steps
I taught a class on these cute little snowmen recently. I had found the idea on About.com and then modified it to fit my supplies. Well I modified it because I never follow directions. And, for the class, I needed something that would be dry enough to finish in an hour or two, so traditional paper mache wouldn’t work. It’s the perfect way to recycle some light bulbs and make Christmas gifts. These little guys can be used as stand-up figures or can be tied or wired to hang on the Christmas tree, your choice.

Step One  

Supplies for Step One:

  • plaster of paris
  • water
  • measuring cup or disposable cup to scoop plaster
  • disposable bowl or pie tin and a plastic fork or spoon
  • small piece of plastic wrap or foil for setting wet snowman on.
  • burned out light bulbs in different sizes
  • paper towel
  • newpaper to protect work surface
  • disposable gloves

To make my snowmen, I used plaster of paris and paper towels. First, I tore the white paper towels, (a good quality quilted Bounty towel) and tore it into pieces approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. They can be random and ragged. It takes around one towel per light bulb snowman. 

Next, I mixed up a small amount of plaster of paris in a disposable bowl. It is important that yo do not begin mixing until you are ready to go because it begins the chemical process very quickly and you have little time to work. That means, get your surface ready with some sort of protection like newspaper and a something to set your snowmen on to dry.Have a pair of disposable gloves ready too. For mixing, it works best to put the plaster of paris power into the bowl and then add water until it is the consistency of pancake batter. Stir quickly!

Then, very quickly, dip the paper towel pieces into the plaster mix. It’s only necessary to dip one side. Then put the dipped side down on the light bulb and smooth out. Keep working quickly as the mixture will begin to harden soon. Keep dipping and smoothing without trying to be too precise. If you want your snowman to stand up, then you’ll need to put a blob of the paper towel/plaster stuff on the bottom and then smoosh it down on your work surface to make it stand.

Keep your paper mache layer as thin as possible. 


Your gloves will begin to get caked with the mixture and it will get more difficult to dip the towels as it begins to set. The most light bulbs I could get done per batch was 1-2. Any more and the mixture was too hard.


When you begin a new batch to do more light bulbs, be sure that your bowl and equipment is fresh as a small amount of hardened plaster will speed up the hardening of the next batch. Bummer. I learned it the hard way.


I also learned once the hard way that you cannot wash plaster of paris bowls in the sink. It will harden in your drain and someone, like an understanding husband, will need to take apart the plumbing to chisel it out. 


So, we’ve completed the plastering step.

Now, if you think this plaster of paris stuff sounds difficult and you have extra days to allow your critters to dry, then I would suggest the old newspaper, glue, paper mache method. Much more kid-friendly if you’re doing this with children too!

Step Two
Supplies:
  • Tacky glue or hot glue
  • scraps of fabric (felt, fleece, quilting cotton,)
  • small sticks
  • black paint or marker
  • buttons
  • White paint

If you used plaster of paris, it isn’t really necessary to paint your snowment since they are already snowy white. Although, it can let off a chalky film, and they aren’t waterproof, so you may wish to seal them with white paint. If you did the traditional paper mache, you’ll need to paint them for sure.

Next, it’s time to embellish. If you visit the About.com instructions, you’ll see how they made the hat. I did mine with a piece that was 3×4 inches and I used fleece. It’s all glue, no sew. You basically fold a brim on the long side, then form it into a tube overlapping the short ends with a little bit of glue. Then you tie the top and snip it to look like a pom pom. I used a little glue to keep it on the snowman. Side note: if your plaster is a little damp, hot glue will not stick, but tacky glue will work wonderfully since it is water based.

Keep embellishing by adding buttons, stick arms and a scarf. My noses were made from orange fleece cut in a tiny triangle. You could use craft foam too. The arms stayed on best if I used a pencil to make a little hole where I was going to glue an arm.

To dab on the eyes and mouth, if you don’t have a paint pen, just dip the tip of a pencil into craft paint and dab it on in a row. You can sharpen the pencil again later and get the paint off.

I hope you have fun with your snowmen! My favorite light bulbs to use are my bathroom vanity ones because they are shorter and rounder. But the taller utility bulbs and regular incandescent bulbs make a fun little family of different sizes.

Happy Recycling!


See this post on tour at these blogs:

Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On



Reinvented – Trash to Treasure Tuesday
http://www.thethriftyhome.com
The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party
The Inspired Room Holiday Link Party

ASPTL

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

2nd Time Around Tuesday at A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com