Why prepare for Christmas by waiting in long lines at overcrowded stores when you can create heartfelt moments with loved ones while crafting a homespun holiday that harkens back to simpler times. Deck the halls without breaking the bank using my easy craft tutorials for DIY décor that harmonizes perfectly with the season’s traditional crafts of gingerbread houses and strung cranberries or popcorn. Have friends over for a cookie decorating or gift wrapping party, and then move the décor over to the mantel in time for a cozy Christmas. In this way, we can all celebrate togetherness in the real spirit of the season!
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly“ and a one-of-a-kind burlap tablecloth painted with stamps and matching napkin rings which set a delightful tone for a homespun holiday gathering. (Learn how easy it is to make these here!)
“’Tis the season to be jolly” and nosh on gluten-free vegan gingerbread cake served upon red ceramic plates over wooden chargers accompanied by holiday reindeer mugs filled with steaming cups of hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows.
Why prepare for Christmas by waiting in long lines at overcrowded stores when you can create heartfelt moments with loved ones while crafting a homespun holiday that harkens back to simpler times. Deck the halls without breaking the bank with easy DIY advent calendars and holiday banners made from burlap, ribbon, jute or twine, and clothes pins. Nothing is more festive than a banner, and the countdown to Christmas is even more exiting when it’s accompanied with a daily treat. In this way, we can all celebrate togetherness in the real spirit of the season!
To make a simple yet adorable Christmas banner, use a wired ribbon (like patterned burlap) and a thinner flat woven ribbon. Cut the woven ribbon as long as you want your banner to be (like the length of your mantel).
To make the little flags, cut enough 4 inch lengths of the wired ribbon to fill the length of the banner. Next cut 1 inch V-notches out of one end of each (by folding in half lengthwise and making a straight cut at a diagonal angle).
Hot glue the straight sides of the cut flags to the center of the long woven strand (spacing them a little apart). Now add a line of glue to the top of the long ribbon and fold in half over the cut ribbons. (Press this down for better adherence.) Do this in sections of a few flags at a time (so the hot glue doesn’t have time to cool before pressing).
Try hanging it on a stairway or as a festive backdrop in your breakfast room. (I even have one hanging across my spice racks as I write this.)
To make an original yet inexpensive advent calendar use 25 clothespins, 25 tiny paper bags, jute or twine, and some leftover ribbon or burlap.
Print my heart stencil, and cut it out to use as an easy template to trace uniform shapes quickly. (Just right click on the image above, and select print.)
Trace the hearts (or make stars, trees, circles, etc.) onto the underside of your choice of ribbon, fabric, paper, or burlap. Cut 25 of the shapes out.
Then hot glue a shape to each clothespin. Next, you have the choice of gluing a ready-made number onto each heart, or simply adding a bow. (This is really cute when using them as a mantle-less stocking holder line. You can also add a strong magnet to the back, and stick it on the fridge.)
I chose to hot glue jute in the shape of numbers onto each heart. (It is easier than it looks, but it was a bit more time consuming.)
Be sure to knot small lengths of twine in between each clothespin at regular intervals (so that they don’t all end up in the center once they’re hung up).
A few ideas for daily treats are… gum or candy, jewelry or cufflinks, holiday fortunes without the cookies, gift cards from favorite stores, love notes or poetry, cash or coins, seasonal jokes, flash drives loaded with holiday movies or music, sewing goods like thimbles or embroidery floss, special recipes with a promise to make, barrettes or keyrings, homemade certificates for things like breakfast in bed or car-washing, lip gloss or chap-stick, scavenger hunt clues for large items, scrapbooking stickers or components, and tickets for movies, concerts, events, or travel. Or for the crafty person… try putting one piece of a crafting kit into each packet which can be completed when the holiday’s over. You can even assign odd and even days to different family members.
Why have one day of a filled stocking that competes with big presents, when you spread the joy of Christmas into 25 days of surprises!
Fa La La La La Lovin’ It!
P.S. Check out my other coordinating homespun holiday craft tutorial HERE, and the full results all of the heartfelt crafting HERE!
Why prepare for Christmas by waiting in long lines at overcrowded stores when you can create heartfelt moments with loved ones while crafting a homespun holiday that harkens back to simpler times. Deck the halls without breaking the bank with an easy DIY burlap tablecloth painted with stamps to coordinate with ribbon crafted napkin rings. Then add a personal touch to ready-made burlap and jute bird ornaments with just a little paint and sentiment. In this way, we can all celebrate togetherness in the real spirit of the season!
To make the tablecloth, fold the burlap fabric onto itself forming a triangle. Cut alongside the raw edge to remove the extra footage. Unfold it to reveal a perfect square without having measured a thing. The raw edges add to its rustic appeal… so nothing needs to be sewn either! (Note that burlap is available in varying widths which in turn will affect your length… so purchase the widest variety you can find.)
Spread the burlap over a cheap drop-cloth to protect your work surface from paint (because it will seep through). Add a holiday pattern to the cloth with a thick foam shape stamp. Dip it into cheap acrylic craft paint, and then stamp it onto a throw away piece to remove the excess paint before stamping your project.
I used a star shape for several reasons… I already owned the stamp, it symbolizes the star of wonder in the heavens, and the cloth can be used again on the fourth of July!
Make the matching napkin rings easily with wire edged burlap ribbon which is available in so many cute patterns. To do this, simply cut 6 inch lengths for each ring you’ll need.
Lay down a line of hot glue onto one end of a section of ribbon and fold it over to meet the other end. Press together firmly to ensure it forms a secure bond. One and done!
The rings coordinate perfectly with my advent calendar and banner crafts because they utilized the same roll of ribbon.
Saving the easiest for last… personalize any store bought ornament with a little paint for gifts or to make it match your décor perfectly.
For these bird picks (from the floral department of a local craft store) I simply painted the black beaks and added hearts with a bit of the leftover tablecloth paint.
These clip ornament birds were found at an overstock supply store locally. (Now painted, they look like lipstick laden lady birds wearing their hearts on their sleeves!)
I started the whole ornament personalization thing many years ago when my godmother (not a fairy) asked me to paint a pennant bearing penguin to change its school affiliation. It was a really easy way to customize a small gift to turn it into a keepsake. (If you’re not at ease with a brush and paint, try a paint pen!)
Fa La La La La Y’all!
P.S. Check out my other coordinating homespun holiday craft tutorial HERE, and the full results all of the heartfelt crafting HERE!
Make your own tabletop garden full of leaping bunnies for your next indoor garden party. DIY these easy projects 3-dimensionally or with my free printables… or mix and match the crafts as I’ve done here. Choose your own color and theme to embellish the bunnies with, or follow my lead and make burlap carrot pots to sprout your menagerie from. Better yet, keep the wraps, rosettes, and ribbons nonpermanent so the bunnies may be used again for another theme. Let these rascally rabbits transform your spring fling into a colossal cute –fest today!
I’ve seen faux foliage covered bunny and bird ornaments as well as topiary picks at several stores locally, and online the choices are endless. Using one of these ready-mades is the quickest way to craft a 3-dimensional creature topiary. (I’ll tell you how to make 2 other types later.)
Wrap small terra cotta pots with burlap fabric or ribbon, and cut after the overlap. Use dots of hot glue to adhere one side to the other. Avoid gluing the burlap to the pot if you’d like to reuse these with another theme, as I’ll be sure to do in the future. Trim the excess length off with scissors so that the pots sit flat on the table.
Add a length of ribbon around the top and tie it in a taut bow. This is not only decorative, but is a trick to keep the burlap securely in place without having to glue it permanently.
Fill each pot with a chunk cut to fit, from a large block of stryofoam. Wedge little chunks of stryofoam in between the large block and the wall of the pot until the large block has no wiggle room. This keeps your creation from drooping later.
Glue ground cover to the top of your moss. Do this by cutting the green edges to fit the pot, and gluing those edges to the rim. I used faux earth meant for a table runner, but I’ve seen similar stuff in the form of placemats as well. Other options are faux Easter grass, moss ribbon, Astroturf, green burlap, or grass printed scrapbook paper (for the printable topiary).
Cut stems, sticks, or dowels to jab into your ornaments, and wrap them with brown floral tape. If your animals are already on sticks, simply cut them to size with good sheers.
It’s easier to embellish your bunnies before potting them. Double-wrapped a length of jute (or yarn, ribbon, twine) around each bunny neck and knot it loosely. Slip a burlap rosette under the jute so that it sits securely without glue.
Make a pilot hole into the center of the green stuff. Do this carefully with any sharp point from an awl to a screwdriver. (I used a scissor side… but I have a tendency toward crafting dangerously.) Lastly, jab the bunny stick into the pilot hole.
Continue crafting the rest of your rascally rabbits.
Another option is cover a carved styrofoam shape with moss, as I have done with the larger bunny centerpiece. I’m not going to cover that in detail here because it took a lot more time, energy, and patience. If you choose to go that route, you can either purchase a ready-made animal shape, or carve one from a block of stryofoam yourself. Foam cutting knives are available that will make the job slightly easier.
One way to add foliage is to cover your creation with moss ribbon as I have done. This is a kind of moss covered carpet tape. Cut it into pieces and round the edges, so that the animal shape may be completed in an unseen patchwork. Adhere the patches with hot glue, pressing firmly.
Embellish it with a burlap ribbon collar and flower, and pot it in the same way as I showed you earlier. I wanted to reuse the bunny topiary again for future themes, so I did not glue the collar to the bunny. I simply glued the flower to one end of a length of ribbon, and then wrapped the ribbon around the neck. I began with the blank end and looped it underneath. The weight of the flower resting on top of the opposite ribbon end kept it firmly in place. It will look completely different with a another color of base wrap and type of collar embellishment.
The following are my leaping bunny printables (free for noncommercial use). Right click on the image you want to use, and select print. Choose color and photo settings for your printer, and print them on sturdy white cardstock.
To make a paper topiary from my printables, begin by printing and cutting out the two opposite facing bunnies.
Glue them together, back to back with a stick or popsicle stick in between. Pot the stick, as shown previously, and embellish it further with paper rosettes and ribbons.
Cut out the carrots to use as place-cards that rest on your newly crafted topiaries. I printed mine, 2 sheets to a piece of cardstock, so that they would be smaller than the banner carrots.
Another option for folded place-cards, is to print out the 5×7 invitations / thank you cards and fold them in half. Embellish them with tiny bows or paper flowers, and write guests’ names on them.
Adding my leaping bunny topiary printable to the center of an existing wreath is an easy way to update a piece you already own and make it fit perfectly to your theme. (This carrot wreath came from Le fidèLe Design’s affiliate Cost Plus World Market. Find a link to them with up to date coupons in the side bar.)
Make a banner with the bunnies and carrots by simply arranging them in a pleasing manner and taping the backs to jute, ribbon, twine, or yarn. I chose to criss-cross the carrots between the bunnies.
A loop at each end makes it easy to hang with clear thumbtacks.
You can also attach the carrots to readymade treat bags like the orange chevron one here. It’s filled with sprouted pumpkin seeds as a part of a healthy and tasty lunch. (See more of this along with the recipe here.)
Why buy a set of bunny ears napkin rings when you can make your own for a fraction of the cost that suits your décor perfectly? This was the thought that sparked one of my cutest projects. 12 feet of 1 inch wide orange burlap ribbon was enough to make 6 rascally rabbit rings for my leaping bunny topiary theme, but many other ribbons would have worked just fine. Hot glue, scissors, and a ruler were the only tools needed to finish the napkin creatures in half an hour. What a perfect project for a spring “crafternoon”!
Each bunny will use about 2 feet of ribbon, so plan accordingly. Note that one inch wide ribbon is the perfect size for this project. Cut 2 lengths of 7 inch strips for each ring… or 12 strips for a half dozen rings.
Cut 2 lengths of 5 inch strips for each set of ears… or 12 strips for a half dozen rings.
Fold each 5 inch strip in half, and press a crease into the folded edge. Lay down a thin strip of hot glue along each vertical side edge, in order to glue the fold into place permanently. (Try using a cool temp hot glue gun to avoid burning your fingers with the hole-filled burlap.) Leave the bottom non-folded edges unglued, forming a tiny sack. At the top folded edge, take the right corner and fold it over toward the center. Then take the top left corner, and fold it over the right one. It will make the top of each ear. Glue the folds into place with a dot of glue, under the left corner and over the right.
With all your ears made, assembly line fashion, get started on attaching them to the rings. Take one of the 7 inch strips and fold it in half to locate its center. Cut centimeter length slits, about a centimeter away from that fold, perpendicular to the fold. (You just made two ear canals.) Fold the bottom open edge of an ear in half, and slip it into a slit opening. You should see about a half centimeter sticking out.
Glue the outside of this protruding portion to the 7 inch ring strip. It should fan outward. Repeat with the other ear, making sure they’re facing the same direction.
Take another 7 in strip of ribbon and glue it to the flat side of the bunny eared strip. The easiest way to begin is by gluing one end and tapping it into place. Continue on until the whole strip is joined. Make sure the ribbons are curved the same direction for a less troublesome experience.
Form the ring by gluing one end of the long strip to the other, by slightly overlapping the edges. (You just made a bunny face.)
Repeat this process until your rabbit warren is complete. (Know that they get easier after making the first one.)
I used sage green cloth napkins with a seam that is actually called a lettuce edge. These folded beautifully into a roll with a top that resembled a small head of lettuce.