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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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

Home-made Glühwein (German mulled wine) packets

Mulled wine, variations of which are popular around the world, is wine, usually red, combined with spices and typically served warm. (quoted from Wikipedia)

I was first introduced to glühwein when studying abroad in Germany in a fall.  As the holiday season approached, I started going to craft/gift fairs and many were held outdoor.  The aroma of cinnamon, orange, wine, and the warmth of a hot drink in hand was a great companion to browse through the stands in the cold.

This holiday season, I wanted to introduce some of my L.A. friends to this drink.

Budget:

  • $4 for 60 tea packets
  • $10 for all spices purchased
  • $0 for twine, business card papers already had.

Time:

  • about 2 hours for 15 packets.  Faster once mastered the work flow

Step 1: lining up the raw materials.

The packets were sold originally to contain loose tea leaves so that drinkers can make their own tea bags without having to deal with the mess of loose leaves in the mug.

The spices I wanted to include were: whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and dried orange peels.

Step 2:  I used AVERY Business Cards 8376 that I would print instructions on.

I found this really cute printable tag from Ez of Creature Comfort blog.  I used one side for the gift recipient and the other for the instructions on how to use this packet.

Then I cut out each tag to shape and drilled a hole on top to tied one end of the twine.  I then attached another end to the packet.


Step 3:  Stuff all spices into the packets.

To use it, you basically will steep this packet in inexpensive red wine, water, and sugar on low heat for a while.  For extra flavor, add fresh orange slices+juice, and splash or brandy.

Step 4: I gathered few packets into 1 colored mesh bag to be given away as presents.