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Countdown to Christmas Playlist

To quote Bing Crosby singing the classic song “Silver Bells,” I can finally say “Soon it will be Christmas day.”

Why is it time to make this bold declaration? Because the month of December has finally arrived! To celebrate, I’ve challenged myself to post a video every single day for the first 25 days of December. It’s quite the undertaking, especially since I’m also approaching exam week, but it conveniently gives me an excuse to stop studying and do a little bit of crafting. 🙂

Of course, today is the 3rd of December. That means I’ve already posted the first three of the countdown videos! I’ve also conveniently made a new playlist, so you can check back each day to find new videos. So, let’s look at the projects I’ve shared so far!

First up, I build off a TuTu from last month. Through careful color choice, a touch of glitter, and a new painting technique, I transform the 1 Hour Fall Wreath project into a festive pinecone wreath.

This one has an interesting story behind it. Initially, I planned to just paint the pinecones white, add glitter, and cover the wreath entirely with the frosted tip pinecones. However, I failed to paint enough pinecones white. So, I simply glued the pinecones I’d already painted onto the frame and naively thought “I’ll come back later and paint more pinecones to fill in the gaps.”

Yeah, that never happened.

However, something was still missing from the wreath. Well, I suppose something was literally missing from the wreath since I ran out of pinecones. I did try spacing the pinecones so they thinned out in one section, but it left the wreath looking… bare. Scrawny. Eh.

The problem was, the green was pretty and the white of the pinecones added a festive touch, but there was no color to draw the eye. That’s when I decided to try something different. I didn’t want to paint the tips of other pinecones a different color, because that would minimize the snow look. I needed to paint pinecones in a new way.

So, I took a pair of clippers and transformed some pinecones into flowers! Initially, I tried snapping the pinecones in half. That’s when I discovered just how thick the core of a pinecone is. The more I tried to snap it, the more pieces I ended up breaking off!

So definitely use the clippers to cut the tops off your flower pinecones. Then a fresh coat of bright red paint adds some Christmas flair!

This next one has a fun(ny) story behind it. You may notice I had several boxes of Makers Holiday Shatterproof Ornaments. Each box contains 75 ornaments, meaning I was surrounded by 300 ornaments! This is almost as good as being surrounded by 300 skeins of yarn. 😉

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to spend a penny to get them. Actually, I have my sister to thank. Long story short, she was at the YMCA one day for a kids activity day. They Y always planned fun activities for the kids, like games, a pseudo archeology dig, or crafts. (Side note: why do they only offer activities like that for kids? I’d be down for a crafting day or pseudo archeology dig!)

Anyways, on this particular day, the kids did their activity and then gathered inside for the closing moments of the activity. In the entrance way to the Y, a table was set up with several boxes of ornaments. On the table was a beautiful sign: free.

Yes, they were giving out free boxes of ornaments for whoever wished to bring them home. Our guess is the Y had purchased the ornaments for Christmas decoration, taken them down at the end of the season, and decided it was cheaper to buy new ornaments next year instead of pay for storage. So, the Y had 10 boxes, totaling 750 ornaments, sitting on a table, free for the taking.

I’m lucky to have a younger sister who looks up to me. So, because she sees firsthand how into Christmas I get, overtime she has developed the same love for all things Christmas. She’s also the crafty type, so free Christmas ornaments was quite the find.

Since they were free for the taking and no one has seemed interested, she brought 4 of the boxes home. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when she showed me and my mom was, well, a little less ecstatic. Probably was a good thing a friend had taken her to the Y, not my mom. 😉

This last video that I posted today, a DIY tomato cage Christmas tree, was a better version of a project I attempted last year. The tomato cage Christmas tree is not my original idea. I’ve seen this idea floating around Pinterest for a couple years and decided to try it last year. The only problem was, I couldn’t find a tomato cage.

No worries, I told myself. I can improvise! Isn’t that a crafters best skill?

I grabbed some pvc pipes, a large flower pot, and lots of dirt. This was plan A. I filled the flower pot with dirt, stuck the pipes into the dirt, and zip-tied them together at the top. Then all I had left to do was wrap it in garland right?

…no. Let’s just say the pvc pipes would not stay standing. On to plan B!

I knew i needed a frame to keep the poles standing upright. I took a flat cardboard box and cut holes for each of the five pvc pipes I was using. I inserted the pipes into the holes, zip-tied it at the top, and wrapped it with garland.

However, this had several disadvantages from the tomato cage method. First, the whole tree could twist. Yes, it stayed standing and lasted the whole season, but if you bumped the tree, it would lean one way or another.

Secondly, the garland kept sliding down the poles. The tomato cage has rings around it every so often that you can twist the garland onto. No such luck with my pvc method. Instead, I grabbed more zip ties and rigged up an intricate system of zip ties to keep the garland from sliding down.

Lastly, that method took over an hour to assemble. Not that fun. Using the tomato cage? Fifteen minutes tops. That included adjusting the camera, gathering supplies, and decorating. Super easy, super quick, way better than my tree last year.

I hope these videos inspire you to craft all the way to Christmas! I know how busy and hectic this time of year can be, and the world isn’t always as full of peace and love as the songs we sing this season. Despite the crazy, I hope these simple projects remind you to slow down, spend time with those you love, and be creative.

Happy Crafting!

-Amanda

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