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Friday, December 19, 2014

Make Fancy Wire Ornament Hangers -- It's Easier Than You Think!

Are you looking for a less humdrum way to hang your special Christmas ornaments?  Those little wire ornament hangers you buy by the package are okay, but why not step things up a notch for your really special ornaments?

These fancy beaded wire ornament hangers are so quick and easy to make. You can literally make dozens in one evening!  You don't need a lot of special supplies, either.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Make Gorgeous Spun Cotton Icicles With Paper Towels!

Do you love vintage spun cotton ornaments? Me too! The problem with actual vintage ornaments, of course, is that they are difficult to find and they can be expensive.

I love the look of a Christmas tree that is just dripping with icicles, but I knew I would never be able to find dozens and dozens of spun cotton icicles -- and even if I did, it would be too expensive to buy so many vintage ornaments.

That's when I ran across Emi's vlog on making icicles from paper towels!  Basically, it's a paper mache process, using diluted white glue and towels. Brilliant! I loved the idea, and decided I could adapt the process to make them look like vintage spun cotton ornaments.

My technique is slightly different than Emi's.  I began by grabbing a "select-a-size" roll of towels, and pulled off towels in the smallest "half-sheet" size.  Then I grabbed some white glue and diluted it with water.  I diluted mine about half and half, but I would probably make it a bit thicker next time. You want your glue to be thin enough to easily soak into the towel fibers, but thick enough to harden well when dried.  I spread the glue mixture onto the sheet of toweling.

Next, I folded the sheet down about one-third of the way, to achieve the desired icicle length. Leave the extra material, because it will add bulk to the top of your icicle.

Because I wanted a nice taper on my icicles, I tore off some toweling from the lower corners to remove even more bulk, and added that material to the top and middle portion of the icicle, gluing everything as I went along.

Now, it's just a matter of rolling the towel to form the icicle.

After rolling them, twist them a bit and play with them, squeezing out excess glue as needed, and smoothing and coaxing them into the shape you like. I put mine in the oven at 180 degrees overnight to dry.

In the morning, I inserted wire hangers into the tops, and secured with just a bit of hot glue. If the icicle is too hard to insert wire into, you can ream it out with one of those tiny screw drivers (the kind you fix your eye-glasses with), and then your wire should slide right in. I'll share how to make these pretty wire hangers in a later post.

While you have the hot glue gun out, you may want to drip a little hot glue around the top -- it gives a pretty effect!

Your icicles will be pretty enough at this point to be done, as you can see in the picture above; or, you can gild the lily. I decided to paint mine slightly off-white, then applied glitter glue all over them, including on the hangers.

I could not be happier with how they turned out!  Even my husband (who is normally oblivious to this sort of thing) thought they looked striking hanging en masse on our tree.

This is a project that can easily be done using paper towels and glue and wire from the dollar store!

This would be a fun "cookie alternative" project to make and share with friends and neighbors. It's easy to make several dozen in a couple of evenings, and you can get your kids involved.  Wouldn't it be lovely to receive a set of handmade vintage inspired icicles as a gift?

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe to House Revivals, so you won't miss any of the fun tutorials we have planned. Please feel free to share this post on social media. Check out the sidebar to see other popular posts.  If you enjoy dollar store crafts, you might really enjoy this project, or this project.  Go check them out -- you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Page Ornament With Dollar Store Supplies!

This is my new favorite ornament! It's so pretty, you would never guess how quick and easy it is to make -- and it can be made with supplies from the dollar store!

I love dollar store projects for two reasons. One, I live in a very urban environment, and big craft stores tend to live in the suburbs, so for me it's often much easier to hit up a dollar store, or a dollar section of a market. Two, I love that dollar stores make crafting affordable.

To make your own vintage book page ornaments you will need a package of plastic balls.

I picked these up at Easter -- they are actually baseball shaped plastic eggs that you can put candy inside of.  I have also used ping pong balls and wiffle balls and styrofoam type craft balls.

While you're at the dollar store, grab a roll of masking tape. You will need to wrap the plastic ball with the tape to create a good gluing surface.

Next, you will need to rescue an old book. Cut some book pages into narrow strips, and glue or Mod Podge the strips to the ball. Did you know Dollar Tree has been carrying Mod Podge lately?

After the ball is completely covered, add a little glitter, if desired. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while probably know that my husband outlawed the application of glitter in our house. That was a sad sad day, but I have since discovered that glitter glue is pretty awesome! I know, glitter glue is probably a "gray" area, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Add some leaves and ribbons and pipe cleaners -- you can get all these things from a dollar store, or you can raid your stash. Glue on a ribbon hanger, and bam! You have a pretty ornament for your tree!

This Christmas, for me, is all about making things that are easy and pretty. These little ornaments are so quick to make, you can easily make a few dozen in one evening! Wouldn't they make great teacher gifts, or tie-ons for gifts?

Do you have a favorite DIY ornament project? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to subscribe to House Revivals, so you won't miss a thing. Also, please feel free to use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post to share with your friends!

For more vintage book page projects, check out my sidebar for links to popular posts.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Make a Pretty Snowflake With Book Pages and Vintage Buttons!

I love vintage buttons, Christmas, and vintage book pages, so of course those loves often intersect at this time of year!

Here is a simple way to use old book pages and buttons from your stash to create pretty snowflake ornaments.

These ornaments are simple to make, using the humblest supplies. They would look pretty hanging on your Christmas tree, or they would make a special gift for an ornament exchange.

Because so many people are on a sugar overload at this time of year, or have health issues that don't allow for sweets, I often make a "batch" of ornaments for Christmas gifting. Who wouldn't want to receive one of these sweet little vintage book page snowflakes?

To make your own snowflake ornaments, you will need to rescue an old book. I used an old Reader's Digest diverted from the landfill. Since snowflakes have six sides, you will need to put together six sections. Each of my snowflake sections consisted of three loops of strips. The strips were the length of the book page and one-half inch wide. Each loop consisted of three strips of paper stacked together, for a total of 54 strips to make one snowflake.

Glue your stacks together to form loops, then bend two of the loops, as shown, and glue the three pieces together. Create six sections, then glue the sections together.

After all the sections are glued together, go back and secure any wobbly sections with more glue.

I glued a small piece of scrap paper to the center of my snowflake, to make it extra strong (a glob of hot glue would also work). I also added glitter glue to the edges of the strips.

To add a special touch, I went through my tin of vintage buttons, to decorate the center of the snowflake.

The buttons were secured with hot glue. I stacked two or three buttons together and glued them to both sides of the ornament.

The ornaments turned out really pretty!

To see another ornament idea using vintage book pages, click here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to subscribe to House Revivals so you won't miss any of the projects we have planned! Also, feel free to use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post to share!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to Make Gorgeous Pendants With Dollar Store Supplies!

I love doing crafts using materials from the dollar store!  Last week I popped into the Dollar Tree and picked up a package of glass accent gems.

The package contained about thirty clear, iridescent, and colored glass gems that were each about one and one-quarter inches in diameter. I also picked up a three-pack of wire from the automotive section of the store, but you may be able to find colored wire in the floral or craft sections of your store.

I thought the colored gems were so pretty and decided to make them into pendants for gift giving. The pendants turned out super cute!

Instead of a chain, you can grab a roll of organza ribbon before you leave the dollar store. The roll I bought has six yards of ribbon which is enough to make several necklaces!

Here are the supplies and tools you will need to make your own wire wrapped glass pendants:
  • Needle nose or round nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Glass accent gems
  • Wire
  • Ribbon

Here is how to make your pendants:

Begin by cutting a piece of wire about twenty inches long. Create a bend in the wire, leaving about a four inch tail on one side.  This is where you will begin wrapping the wire around your glass gem.

Wrap the wire randomly all around the gem, as shown. Try to wrap the wire as snugly as possible. End the wraps at the top, where the tail sticks up from the back of the gem.

Twist the wires together once or twice to secure. This is  most easily done by holding the gem in one hand and twisting the pair of wires with the other hand, using a pair of pliers. This should also "snug" up the wire nicely. Now create a loop for hanging with one of the wires and coil the tail around the hanger snugly. Clip and tuck the ends, or create little spirals with the leftover tails and press against the glass.

The gem shown here has one tail coiled against the front of the gem, and one coiled against the back.

This is such an easy project and would make a lovely gift or stocking stuffer!  As with so many creative projects, it is a bit addictive.  I am NOT a skilled wire worker, so if I can do this, with a beginning skill level, I promise you can too!

What do you think? Would you try this? I love finding creative projects that don't require lots of money, tools, and skill. The great thing about using inexpensive materials is that you don't have to be afraid to use them! What do you have to lose? Two dollars? These pendants are so pretty! I love the way the light shines through them. No one will ever believe you made them for pennies, with supplies from the dollar store!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe so you won't miss any upcoming tutorials. Please feel free to use the icons below this post to share this project on social media! Happy wire wrapping!

Monday, December 8, 2014

How to Make a Grip Friendly Craft Knife Handle

Here is a super simple solution (say that three times, fast) for those skinny craft knife handles that leave your hands feeling tired and achy.

This is my "go to" craft knife for most of my projects.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Make a Pretty Christmas Banner Using Homemade Washi Tape

Are you looking for a quick and easy Christmas card or decor idea, using scraps of paper you already have? Look no further! You can make this darling banner (or make cards!) using old book pages and homemade washi tape.

Of course, you can use store bought washi tape, as well, if you have it, but making your own is a great stash busting idea if you you have lots of paper scraps left over from other projects.

I love crafting with vintage book pages, and have lots of old Reader's Digests that I picked up for a song from a local thrift store. I pulled out the pages I wanted to use, and trimmed away the margins. Then I went through my stash of scrap paper and trimmed several pieces into on-half inch wide strips.  I tore the strips into short lengths and played around with how to arrange them to make a washi tape Christmas tree.

Once the strips were arranged the way I liked them, I simply glued them down with a glue stick. You can use whatever adhesive you have on hand for this -- it does not have to be a glue stick.

Make one or make several!  I made mine into a banner for my mantel.

Leave them plain, or add embellishments. I added same "garland" using glitter glue. It was quick, easy, and mess free.

Using a hole punch, I made holes to hang the pages from a piece of twine.

I threaded a length of jute twine through the holes, and tied a small piece of scrap fabric to the corners of each page.

Such a pretty and simple idea, and it cost nothing to make -- I simply used leftover and recycled supplies.

It doesn't need to break the bank to create pretty Christmas decor!  You can also glue your washi tape Christmas trees to card stock to make unique Christmas cards.

Do you have a stash of papers just waiting for a fun project like this?  Maybe you have some old books that can be recycled? Let me know in the comments.  If you enjoyed this post, and would like to read more tutorials from House Revivals, be sure to subscribe! Also, I would love it if you share this post on social media -- it's easy, using the social media buttons at the bottom of this post.

To see more tutorials using vintage book pages, click here. Also, be sure to check out my side bar for links to lots of popular craft and design tutorials. Thanks for visiting!