Monthly Archives: December 2010

After-Christmas Finds

Almost as much as I love shopping for Christmas presents (or a lot of the time, crafting said presents), I have a great love of those after-Christmas bargains you can find. But I’m not talking about all the “stuff” I wish I’d received as gifts that I’ll go out and buy myself (I don’t do this). I love all the Christmas and holiday decorations and such that stores are trying to get rid of as quickly as possible. 75% off? yes please ^_^

And I’m totally outing myself as a Goodwill junkie, but I definitely went there today and perused the two aisles of random holiday junk and loved every second. Found a few gems too!

old school red apple ornaments


cute lil apple!

Do you remember these? I know my parents have about 3 or 4 of these apple ornaments in varying sizes with my name on them. Not to mention the ones with my brothers’ names. These, of course, are blank, and it makes me grin just thinking about writing people’s names and the year with a metallic Sharpie, for cute little gifts next year! (Oh, and those teeny multi-colored glass baubles above are from Urban Outfitters – only $4 for 50 of those little guys!!!)

Another find I was way too excited about were these:

pop-up silver snowflake decoration

I dug around in a bin and found three of these awesome retro pop-up snowflakes (still new in their packaging!). They’re big and shiny, and totally a throw-back to an age of silver tinsel and aluminum Christmas trees. I’ll store them away till next year, though, because even though I like to leave holiday decorations up well into January…I can’t bring myself to do more decorating after the day.

I found a few other nifty things – a set of nine vintage glass ball ornaments in gold. And a baggie of those great satin thread-covered balls

vintage ornaments

The glass balls are exactly like the kind my parents have had forever (Bradford’s of Boston), so I was understandably nostalgic. 🙂
And I have more craft ideas in mind for those great satin-y styrofoam balls – like doing something like this with them:

image from

How fun are those? Love that all you need is some fun rick rack, straight pins, and an assortment of beads to turn an uninteresting ball into something stunning.
All in all, I spent about $9 on all my new treasures. HA love it.

Anyone else indulge in after-Christmas decoration hunting? 🙂


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Filed under Crafts, Holidays, Inspiration

Misty-eyed over…

It’s the week of Christmas! Do you have all your weekend plans in place? This will be M and my first Christmas as a married couple, yay! But that still means figuring out how we will split our time, since both of our families live in the area. No quiet, just-the-two-of-us holiday this year. We will be driving all over the western half of the state. But it will be good to see lots of family! (and my youngest bro just flew back for the holiday break from Boston, so I can’t wait to see him!)

Our apartment is all decked out in holiday cheer, but I am totally tempted by a few last-minute decor crafts! Check out these adorable and colorful trees I stumbled across in my blog-wanderings:

{from Thompson Family-Life, via Paper*Cakes Finds}

I love those gorgeously unexpected colors, and all those cute trimmings…lace, buttons, velvet ribbon, dainty straight pins, jingle bells! How adorable would these look on a mantle place, a book shelf, or as a dining table centerpiece!?

*Sigh* but I never seem to have styrofoam cones on hand! But what a fun project, and they look easy to make, too. Maybe if I go crazy at the craft store…there’s still time, right? haha

Anyone else have last-minute holiday projects on their plate? 🙂

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How to make a rolled Book-Page Wreath

I can’t remember when I first saw an example of this kind of wreath, but I do know I’ve been wanting to make one ever since! I just think it’s such a creative use of materials, and a stunning result to boot.

Handmade rolled paper wreath

Handmade rolled paper wreath

Just by looking at it, you can tell that it is a very simply constructed wreath. There are probably different methods for making one, but here’s the step-by-step process I used to make the wreath that’s now hanging in my living room!

Gather your supplies…

Get your Wreath-making materials

Get your Wreath-making materials!

Old book you don’t mind destroying
Exacto Knife
Glue stick
Hot Glue Gun/Glue
(Optional: Crepe paper, vintage image for center)

Take your book and cut out a whole slew of pages that are fairly uniform (all black & white text, for example). Cut those pages into squares. My pages were 6″ wide and 9″ tall, so I trimmed the tops off so they were 6×6 squares.

Begin rolling your pages into cones, ready with your glue stick to secure them. Do this by having your page flat in front of you, corner pointing toward you; with your left hand, hold down the left-hand corner and with your right hand curl the corner closest to you about 3/4 the way into the page; add glue to the far edge and complete the cone.

how to roll a paper cone

how to roll a paper cone

(Rolling the cones is tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it quick). For another look at making paper cones, check out this post where I made a whole slew of them for my wedding!

However tightly or loosely you roll the cones determines how many you’ll need to make your wreath. The inner ring of my wreath needed 19 cones. The outer ring was tighter cones and took about twice as many.

Rolled paper cones and cardboard circle

Rolled paper cones and cardboard circle

So once you have enough cones to make a full circle, you need your support to attach them to. I took an old cardboard box and used a soup bowl as a circle template (about 6″ diameter, although any size will do, so long as it’s smaller than the wreath itself). Cut out your cardboard circle and find the approximate center.

To make it easier to place your cones evenly, arrange the cones (unglued!) on top of your cardboard. Then, one by one, pick up each cone, apply a dab of hot glue, and put it back down again in the same spot! Go all the way around until all your cones are secure.

rolled paper wreath

almost there...

You’ll notice that my wreath has two layers…

You can certainly stop rolling here, and you’ll have a beautiful, one-tiered paper wreath. I decided my wall needed a slightly bigger wreath, so I started at the beginning again and made a whole batch of new cones to make a second layer!
For round two, carefully place your wreath face-down on your work surface (you can place an upside-down bowl under the middle of it for elevation) and situate your cones slightly farther out from the center, so they protrude out past the first row.

(*note, I ran out of hot glue at this point. Don’t do this! haha, hot glue makes everything so much easier!!)

Once all of your 2nd layer cones are glued on…

Rolled Paper Wreath back

Rolled Paper Wreath - back side

…glue a loop of ribbon to the cardboard backing, and if you want, glue a second circle of cardboard to the back, so it looks a little prettier (but really, who’s gonna look at the back?).

The last step is to add something pretty to the center of the wreath to hide the middle. But before I get to that step, I wanted to make my wreath sparkle just a little…so I went for the glitter!

spray glitter and paper wreath

spray glitter!

But not just any glitter. I’m not a huge fan of the loose stuff in those little glass jars. Too messy. Instead I used a spray glitter, which would ensure that I wouldn’t find it all over the place later 😛

After two very light coats (letting it dry between each), I had a pretty (yet subtle) sheen of silver glitter on my paper wreath.

paper and glitter

paper and glitter

For the last step – the center of the wreath – you can do just about anything you can imagine. I decided to go with a vintage image, to go with the vintage vibe of the book pages. Cut out a good sized circle from the picture, and then added a fringe of simple red crepe paper (I used a brush and some Mod Podge and slowly worked my way around the circle with the crepe paper).

wreath center

wreath center and crepe paper fringe detail

All that remains is taking your hot glue gun again, and gluing the center to your wreath!

Paper wreath with center embellishment

Paper wreath with center embellishment

So now hang up your wreath and admire your work!

paper wreath above the fireplace

paper wreath above the fireplace

My wall above our fireplace still seems a little expansive for my wreath…despite making it as big as I could! So I added a little frame of berry wire garland. And I’ll probably add some more holiday flare as the month goes on. Gotta love those decorating projects! You tweak until it’s right 🙂

Till next time, happy crafting!


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Holidays, tutorial