Decoupaging our own Christmas tree topper star

This year marked our 1st year spending Christmas on our own, without plans to be with our families across the country.  We decided to get to a tree.  Surprisingly, tree toppers are hard to buy around here.  Well, maybe that and we procrastinated our tree shopping until a week prior to the holiday.

Therefore, we’re making our own tree top!

Budget:

  • $7.50 for cardboard star
  • $3 for red tissue paper
  • $0.99 for 2 glitter pens
  • $0 mod podge – already owned
  • $0 exacto knife

cardboard star, tissue paper, glitter pen

Step 1:
use exacto knife to cut one hole where the top of tree will go into.  See the circle in picture.

Step 2:
take a whole sheet of tissue paper, fold it multiple times to roughly the size of 2 star sides.  Cut tissue paper to a little bigger than a side triangle.

Step 3:
brush on the thin all-purpose glue (mod-podge), then affix the cut triangle papers onto all sides of star.

if you’re an accomplished decoupage-r, this will be very easy for you.  My 1st project didn’t work out as well.  Hopefully, 2nd time will be the charm for me. 🙂

Step 4: 
slowly apply all paper pieces onto the star.  Go around the whole star for 2 layers.  After both layers dried, apply mod podge all over the star to create a shiny exterior.

Step 5: 
apply drops of glitter pen (which is basically glue in a tube with glitter)

The glitter drops will take a while to dry.  Be patient.  Don’t move the star around too much.

decoupaged star with glitter drops

Step 6: 
Position the star on top of the tree and enjoy!

decoupaged red star

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shower curtain rings turned Mini Wreath by Katie Brown

A little holiday elf dropped this tutorial by the lovely Katie Brown at Smile Like You Mean It blog this morning.  It is so cute and simple, and I had all the materials needed.  I just HAD to make it.  Right Now.

Full tutorial link here:  http://www.smilelikeyoumeanit.net/2011/11/ornament-1-mini-wreath-tutorial.html

Here is my attempt:

Materials:

  • old shower curtain rings
  • glue gun
  • yarn of various colors

shower rings, glue gun, yarn

Okay, I know there’ll be a bunch of trial & error there, since I wasn’t sure about my patterns, color combinations, or length of yarn I needed.

Attempt #1:  wrapping yarn on my finger before looping it onto a ring.

Verdict:  not exactly as efficient of a strategy as I hoped for.  Next!

Attempt #2:  stick with the basic approach – one loop at a time.

Verdict:  it actually wasn’t too bad.

Ta-da!  Look at what I made.

I decided to string a bunch of them together and hang them in front of my closet door.

If my ceiling wasn’t 10 ft. tall, I would string them across my ceiling too.

anywhere else you can think of putting them?

diana’s home-made earrings – the blue series

Whenever I pull out my jewelry-making box, I can’t make just one.

First up, this is a pair of “beads” (the big blue with gold dots part) I found a Alameda Antique Market that I’ve been wanting to make earrings out of.  I finally did!  I imagine they’ll go well with a vintage dress.  What do you think?

DIY, blue & gold,

Then, I have something a bit more modern.  I’m noticing a ‘Blue & Gold’ theme here.  Hmm…  I might need to come up with something “Cardinal & Gold” to balance it out?  hmm…

diana tsu creation

Lastly, I made a necklace.  There’s something about combing a circular object and tear drop shape that appealed to me.  So this doesn’t fit within the “blue” theme.  Oh well.

diana tsu

corkboard jewelry display / organizer

Smaller apartment means new set of challenge on how I can store & organize my jewelry.  Continuing with my previous theme of “needing to see everything to remember wearing everything”, I decided to make something else for my new bedroom.

Budget:

  • $o for old cork board
  • $0 for old acrylic paint, paint brush
  • $0 for old fabric head band that I no longer use
  • $0 for little screw hooks I already used for old hanging jewelry boxes.

diy, jewelry organizer

Step 1:  mix colors & paint the boarder of the board.  I wanted a deep grey to mimic other metallic frames in the room.

Step 2:  cut head band to pieces & take out the screw hooks.

Step 3:  position the fabric strips with thumb nails.  Insert the screw hooks. 

A word of advice – take an inventory of what you have and how you’d want to organize them first before you start putting things on the board.  Otherwise, you might find yourself pulling and re-inserting.

  

Step 4:  hang your beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.


Thanksgiving table decoration with DIY moss balls in tin cans

Budget:

  • $4 for 6 moss balls
  • $2.5 for raffia ribbon wrap
  • $4 for floral wires
  • $1.95 x 6 for tiny tin cans (not pictured)
  • $2 for a square floral sponge

moss balls, floral wire, ribbon wrap

My plan was going for a rustic look with natural elements.  I picked up a bunch of materials from Michael’s Stores to test out my creativity.  I placed red loose moss strands at the bottom of the vases and on the table as base.  Candles are placed inside the vases, and real small pumpkins and squashes, on top of the moss.

pumpkin, candle, moss ball

Lastly, I created my DIY project.  Each moss ball was attached to the floral wire, which happened to be green.  Then I insert each ball-on-wire piece into each tin.  There is pieces of floral sponge that’s inserted inside of the tiny tins.  Lastly, I cut pieces of ribbons and wrapped them around the moss balls.

DIY art-moss ball

This is what the finished look right before dinner time.

Thanksgiving table decoration

Thanksgiving table decoration

self-adhesive DIY lampshade

Budget:

  • $6 for lampshade template with self adhesive surface
  • $3.5 for polka dot paper

Time:

  • about 30 minutes
Step 1: lining up the raw materials.

 

self-adhesive lampshade

 

Step 2: trace the green template on the back of the paper I wanted to use on my lampshade.

add an inch on all side of the template for wrapping.

Step 3:  cut out the traced paper pattern.  Start carefully lining the paper on the self-adhesive surface


Step 4:  Wrap the extra margin to the inside of the shade.  Make cuts along the side to the paper bends smoother.  Tape down the margin of the paper that’s now inside of the shade.
Done.


Candlestick Park Antiques and Collectibles Fair finds

Budget:

  • $7 for 3 cute cups – sherry!
  • $10 for blue decanter
  • $20 for Scandinavian salt & pepper shaker set

Our 1st visit to the faire was pretty pleasant.  The offerings were similar to Alameda’s antique faire but much smaller. The more intimate size was also less intimidating and made it seem more manageable to check everything out before we got tired.   Yes, it does seem we keep buying items for alcohol consumption.  But hey!  any cool bar requires time and efforts to cultivate.

antique market cup