Faux Gingerbread Houses

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The third of my Twelve Crafts for Christmas are fun faux gingerbread houses constructed with Graham Crackers.

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Gingerbread houses are a super fun Christmas tradition; a fairly recent tradition for us. So fun because you can customize however you want!

Three years ago on a whim, I picked up a kit that included gingerbread, icing, and candy for four little houses. Perfect for a fun family evening; my husband, both girls and I each decorated a gingerbread house. Although the houses were very small, they all turned out great. Now we’re hooked!

In 2013 (year two of our tradition), I saw several Pins (yeah Pinterest!) showing gingerbread houses made using Graham Crackers – GENIUS!!! Here’s a picture of our houses in 2013.

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Although I can’t claim the idea as my own, I did put my own stamp on it. Instead of royal icing, I use Tacky Glue to build the houses. We don’t eat our houses – we think that would be gross after sitting out for so many weeks – just our personal preference. (Since we put so much time and energy into personalizing our houses we display them all through the Holiday season.)

Here’s some shots of the construction process (this took me several days – mostly because I didn’t ‘t have a whole afternoon).
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To make the graham crackers easier to cut, I wet my fingers, rubbed them on the cracker, microwaved for 10-15 seconds then used a sharp knife.

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Here’s our 2014 houses – we kicked it up a notch this year. It’s hard to tell in the pictures but the houses are much larger this year. Next year I’m giving everyone a box of Graham Crackers so they can construct their own.

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Lance’s house – the girls & I are extremely impressed!!

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Tammy’s

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Ashton’s

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Peyton’s
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Have fun making your own! I can’t wait for next year!!

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String Art Ornaments

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These little string-art ornaments are the second of my twelve crafts for Christmas.
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I love all the fancy string art I’ve seen on Pinterest. String Art was very popular for a while when I was a child – my Mom covered the wood with fabric then meticulously hammered LOTS of nails in a perfect pattern. Mine are NOT in a perfect pattern but I love the rustic and slight messiness of them.

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I have boxes of scrap wood (can’t stand to throw something that could become perfectly useful at a later date). I dug through my stash for ornament sized pieces, hammered on some little nails, then tied and twisted embroidery floss. I finished them with screw eyes and natural jute. The possibilities are endless!!! I have other patterns/colors running through my mind as I type.

IMG_0626.JPGDo you have any good string art projects to share?

Welcome back Louie

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Our elf, Louie came back several days ago. We found him sitting on an old wooden duck decoy, with a Duck Dynasty cup and a sticky note that said “I ‘m back Jack.” So far Louie hasn’t been too mischievous nor has he been terribly clever this year, but Ashton still LOVES getting up and looking for him.

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Pine Cone Ornaments

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Today is the first of twelve, cute, low-cost, and green Christmas crafts I’m sharing with you this season. Follow my blog to have future posts delivered directly to your email.

I actually posted this last year, but unfortunately it was the only one of the twelve crafts that got posted – our family is BUSY and time gets away from me.  This year, I’m ahead of the game!

We love decorating for Christmas.  We put up a tree in the dining room, the living room & my girls each put a tree in their rooms.  My living room tree was loaded with gold ornaments for years – this year I’m going for a more rustic look. I’m reusing a few of my gold ornaments, but I’ve made (or revamped) the majority.

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I’m SO excited about these pine cone ornaments!! They didn’t cost me a dime (I had everything on hand).

We got the pine cones at a house not far from home. One day as the girls and I were driving, we noticed pine cones on the ground in a yard. We stopped and asked the homeowner if we could pick some up – he said “anytime” – saves him the trouble (so we cleaned the yard). We got a very large bag that day. Woo Hoo!!

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Here’s how to make them…

Materials:

Pine cones
Nail clippers (if you have prickly pine cones)
Natural jute (or other yarn or string)
Material (to make rosettes)
Glue gun & glue
Glitter glue

Instructions:

If your pine cones are prickly (like mine), remove the thorns with a pair of nail clippers.

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Cut about 10 inches of natural jute, fold in half and tie the ends together (in a knot). Use a dab of hot glue to glue the knot to the top of the pine cone.

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I had a roll of natural jute on hand, but as you can see, with a 40% Hobby Lobby coupon it only costs a couple of dollars and it goes a VERY long way.

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Embellish however you like… I made rosettes using fabric that I had on hand (the cranberry color rosette was formerly a shirt & the canvas color was from another project – I purchase canvas at Harbor Freight – $7.49 for 4′ x 12′). For a few, I added some greenery (cut from some garland from years past).

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To add some sparkle, spread glitter glue on the ornament I find this method to be more efficient (and less messy) than the glue and glitter method.

Let it dry, hang on your tree, and stand back and admire.

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Hope you enjoy making your own…

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Holiday Hostess Gifts – Wine Glass Charms

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These cute little wine glass charms are a super way to distinguish which glass is yours. I’m notorious for picking up the nearest glass and claiming it as my own. Problem solved!! And…a set of these make the perfect hostess gift.

Instructions:

Use memory wire – the small loops, and cut them to the desired size with wire cutters (I used a loop and a half).

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With needle nose pliers, make a loop at one end.

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String beads in the desired color/patter; my kids picked out team colors.

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Finish with a loop at the other end. Ta da – a cute & stylish way to personalize wine glasses. No more losing track of your drink.

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Thanks for visiting. If you like my wine glass charms, please share (I love being Pinned).

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Scrappy Sail Boat Art

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Aren’t these SOOO cute? One of my favorite projects. These scrappy little sail boats were meant to be…I found the wood in the boat shape on the floor in the workshop after cutting boards for other projects. Of course I couldn’t make one lonely boat so I dug through my scraps to find other similar shapes.

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I painted each piece separately with acrylic paint. Once dry, I sanded to distress, glued the boat pieces on, then sealed. I attached a self-leveling hanger.

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Voila…the cutest little sail boats ever.

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I recently found a fabulous blog – Beyond the Picket Fence (check it out) – I’m inspired by her scrappy projects.

If you like my scrappy sail boats, I’d be honored if you pinned them!

Thanks for looking!
Tammy

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Wood Tote

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I’m participating as a vendor in a local fundraiser/shopping event called unWINEd (how fun is that?) presented by the Junior Auxiliary of Abbeville. It’s coming up in a big hurry so I’ve been creating like mad to prepare.

Many years ago, I saw a wooden tool box at an antique store and filed it in the back of my mind with all the other ‘to make someday’ projects. Now I’ve made one WOO HOO!!

I was inspired by this post at Beyond the Picket Fence (excellent blog – check it out), and because my youngest daughter’s class was asked to donate an item to a ‘tailgating’ themed gift basket to raffle. I thought this would be a fun way to hold all the condiments for a tailgate party (ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ, etc); I even added a bottle opener (just in case).

Here’s some pictures of the process. I used salvaged fence pickets, cheap acrylic paint and two coats of clear coat.

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Thank you for stopping by.

I’ve really neglected my blog. Between school and extracurricular activities, my girls keep me on the go. I still find time to create, I just never get pictures. I’ve made so much lately, I’m working on taking pics and writing posts stay tuned for more…

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Toy To Tray

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Check out this classy tray. This is probably one of my favorite transformations ever! In her former life, she was a baby doll changing table:

Former Life:

SFC - changing table

New life:

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Can you believe it?

My girls had the whole set for their dolls, the changing table, crib and high chair. They were well used toys and favorites for many years. The changing table broke some time back, and since I like to keep junk useful stuff around until inspirations strikes, it’s been tucked away in a corner.

Here’s some of the pieces…

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I didn’t get many pictures of the process, but I’ll do my best to tell you how I did it:

1. The legs broke off from the top of the changing table, leaving holes where it had been screwed in. I used drywall joint compound to fill the holes, then sanded both sides smooth.

2. I wanted to have a chip paint finish, so I painted some of the edges with black acrylic paint, then spread Vaseline in some places. Check out this post for more information about creating a chip paint look with Vaseline.

3. I sprayed several coats of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2x in Heirloom White Satin finish.

4. Once I was satisfied with the finish, I used sandpaper to remove the paint to create a distressed look. The paint comes right off where Vaseline was spread.

5. The finish wasn’t quite what I envisioned so I decided to experiment. I had some Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut Wood Stain in my cabinet, so I brushed on and wiped off until I had a look that I liked. That was still tacky the next day (we were having some muggy/humid weather), so I moved on to another project and let that sit for several days.

6. To create the patch-work effect on the tray, I cut several different pieces of scrapbook paper in various sizes and moved them around until I liked the look. Using Mod Podge, I decoupaged the paper to the tray. I left them on the tray in my pattern (so I wouldn’t forget how I wanted them), and just moved them aside to spread Mod-Podge.

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I think the best way to avoid air bubbles is to Mod Podge the paper to the surface first, flattening with something like a credit card as you go – you will still see air bubbles, but they should go away as it dries. Once you’ve given that a little time to dry, sparingly brush Mod Podge over the top of the scrapbook paper (again, it might appear to bubble, but should go away as it dries). If you end up with a bubbles after it dries, you can usually stick those down by carefully scraping (with a fingernail or a credit card) again.

7. I wanted to seal the top but didn’t want a shiny surface, so I sprayed many layers of Minwax Polycrylic in satin finish (I probably sprayed 10 layers over several days).

8. Every tray needs handles, so I picked out some that I thought complimented the finish and attached.

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At this point, I still wouldn’t want to let anything wet sit on it, but it would make a fabulous coffee table tray.

What kind of sealer do you use over decoupaged items? I use the spray (because I’m lazy like that). Does the kind you brush on work better?

Thanks for visiting.

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