Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Handmade Christmas- Week 9 {A Hodge Podge of Ideas}

We have been doing a lot of creating around here. I still have a lot I would like to do (not just for our family gifts but other things as well) but I am fine with the fact that we have been having fun making things and we have done a lot and whatever else gets done or doesn't get done is okay.

  This post is a whole collection of various handmade things that are around our house right now.

A recent fun project that got made here was a gourd snowman. A friend of mine who knows I love to make things out of whatever I have on hand, called and wanted to know if I wanted a bunch of gourds that they had leftover from fall decorations. I wasn't quite sure what I would do with them but I thought they might possibly dry and then I could try making rattles, bird houses, bowls and what have you with them so I said "yes".
Some of the gourds didn't look like they were going to keep so they went out to the compost pile but some of the smooth skinned ones we thought might dry so we have them up on top of our cupboard waiting to do just that. And then there were a few funny, bumpy cream ones. What would they be good for? How about a snowman?

  Megan thought the project sounded fun so I put her in charge of it. I helped a bit but she was very excited that she was able to use the glue gun (it is something you do have to be very careful with because it can burn you badly) on her own.


  We glued the gourds together, added twig arms and button eyes and buttons. We used part of an old sock for a hat and some wool for a scarf and a nose. We think it turned out cute and it was quite free. I don't think it will make it to another year but we are enjoying it for this one.

  Here are some more creations that I thought you might be able to get ideas from.
 The boys have carved walking sticks this fall. Perhaps someone you know would like a gift like that.
 Jonathan has been impressing us lately with his inventing abilities. By carving and using the drill he has been turning bits of poplar we have around here into toy guns. He rigged it up with a trigger and a spring inside so that it can actually shoot a "bullet" that he carved. He made the one above for himself but has been working on another one as a gift for Aaron. It will be appreciated.
 I have been having fun doing some of my normal decorating with lots of evergreens and pine cones. I showed a bunch of homeschool kids how to make the vertical swags at our gathering last week. I sure ended up with sticky, sappy hands but they smelled good! Swags are pretty easy to make - simply take pieces of greenery and lay then so you have some going up and some going down with the ends meeting in the middle where you can securely wire them together. Then cover up the area you wire with a bow and add in pine cones or other decorations.

For a horizontal swag simply lay them out so they are evenly divided on both sides and wire them together in the middle and add a bow and pine cones. I don't worry about perfection - it is supposed to be natural.

  Something else I made this fall was a unique set of candle holders/ vases. I used a sparkling water bottle that was green and then I hot glued the red and clear flat marbles all over it.  They are kind of pretty but maybe not quite my style - oh well I am enjoying them this year and maybe I will pass them on to somebody else later. I don't know that hot glue was the best choice for adhering the marbles as a few have popped off and I have had to re-glue them.
  The cute little wreath above was a gift to us from my Sister-in-law's little sisters. It is a fun way to recycle old wool sweaters or clothes. They are cut in squares and then threaded to make a wreath.
Today we celebrated my niece Jaten's 3rd birthday. We had fun making some homemade gifts for her. She had seen the flower wand that we made for Megan's Operation Christmas Child Shoebox and she really liked it so we made her one as well (though a different style). She liked this one pretty well too.  I also made her a felt reversible crown and the kids made her jewelry and then we gave her a book about a bride that wore a crown and carried flowers with streamers.
 To make our flower wand Megan painted a stick and we tied on ribbons (and glued them for good measure). Then we cut out 10 felt flowers.
 I folded the flowers in half and then rolled them like above and then I started gluing them all on the end of the wand. I glued them together so there weren't any cracks.
Above is a picture of Megan trying the things out last night. I got a picture of Jaten with them today but it was on my phone and I don't know how to upload those pictures. :-)

 So that is a few of the things that we have been working on. What have you been making at your house? I would still love to hear any homemade gift, decoration or goody ideas! If you have blogged about it please leave a link in the comments so we can go check it out!


Greg and Donna said...

The snowman gourd is so cute. I would save it and see if it makes it another year ~ we've used dried gourds for projects but not the "just picked" ones. And I love the ribbon wand, so creative & some little girl is going to love this in her shoebox! The swags are beautiful!! It looks like y'all are spending your December like we are ~ relaxing, creative, fun!

Rachel E. said...

The pine swags are beautiful! I love the one with the copper heart on it. You are creative.


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