Monday, 20 June 2016

50 Makes for Christmas - the list!

Following a post I made on a Facebook group yesterday it seems I am not the only one mad enough to start making their Christmas plans in June!  So I am inviting anyone who is interested to join me in this challenge I know that 50 makes is a big ask for a lot of people, so set a target that is achievable or you.

Here is my declaration  " I am going to give it a go to create 50 makes for Christmas"

If you would like to join in please post your own declaration in the comments below or on the Facebook group that I run called "Christmas Crafting", this is a closed group so if any of your makes are for gifts they should be secret unless the recipient is in the group! Please feel free to share this if you are a blogger, the more the merrier

I have also decided to publish my list of makes, this is not in any order and I think it will probably change between now and the 24th of December.

  1. Dipped gift tags - already posted
  2. Bleached Pine cones - already posted
  3. Felt Holly and button garland
  4. Pallet wood Christmas tree
  5. Shortbread
  6. Decorate brown paper
  7. Christmas cushion covers
  8. Fabric covered baubles
  9. Festive felt brooch
  10. Tealights with Washi tape
  11. Tweedy Christmas trees
  12. Pine cone firelighters
  13. Mini felt mittes - tree decs
  14. Felt hearts
  15. Dipped baubles
  16. Fudge
  17. Decoupage jam jars
  18. Dogwood mini wreaths
  19. Blackboard paint air dried clay decs 
  20. Clove studded oranges
  21. Hanging twiggy Christmas tree
  22. Marshmallow "snow globes"
  23. Old baubles updated with decorative tape
  24. Blackboard painted bottles
  25. Fruit flavoured Gin
  26. Twine or ribbon bound Pillar candles
  27. "Rudolph" gift tags
  28. Christmas carol tea plates
  29. Cake case pom -poms
  30. Dried orange slices
  31. Chutney
  32. Felt gingerbread man and woman
  33. Air dried clay Christmas tree
  34. Something for the back of the dining chairs
  35. Christmas tree cushion
  36. Bunting from old clothes
  37. Covered matchboxes
  38. Christmas cocktails
  39. Bulbs in bowl
  40. Stamp and decorate gift tags
  41. Advent candle jam jar
  42. Pine cone garland
  43. Memo pegs
  44. Up-cycle the Crackers
  45. Felt Mushrooms and deers
  46. Decoupage "DAS" ornaments
  47. Pot Pouri
  48. Washi tape Christmas tree on fridge door
  49. Fresh cranberry sauce
  50. Something for the table centre
There you go, it is a pretty mixed bag, all very simple and apart from the food/drink items I am hoping to use up things that I already have.

I hope you feel like joining in and I look forward to seeing what everyone else is planning.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Bleached Pine Cones - 50 makes of Christmas 2/50

I love a freebie so going for a walk and coming home with a bag full of pine cones is a real pleasure for me.  They are decorative, useful for telling the weather - open sunny and warm -closed cold and wet and they can be used as kindling for fire lighting.

When I sat down to write my list of Christmas makes this was one of the first things to go down.  It is very simple to do and is relatively cheap.

You will need

Pine cones



A jar or vessel suitable for use with bleach that will house your pine cone

A lid or plate to put on top of the jar to hold down the pine cones

Put the pine cone into the jar, if they are fully open they will hold the bleachy liquid inside when they close up, if they are closed the insides will remain untouched or take less of the bleach effect.

I use a solution of 50% bleach to 50% water and pour over the pine cones.

The pine cones will close up and float so they take up less space in the jar, you will need to put a plate or something on the top to hold them down. I used a saucer and a tin of beans!  You can also feed in a few more cone to fill up the capacity, however, the later they are added the less bleaching will occur.

You need to keep the cones immersed in the liquid for about a week, the liquid will go a dirty brown but it is just doing its job.  Throw away the liquid and leave the pine cone in a safe place to dry out.

Quite a contract to the cones in their natural state, they look nice mixed together with some unbleached ones for a simple display, but I have a few other ideas I will share later.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

trash to treasure

My daughter moved house recently and one of the items left by the previous occupants was this dusty old picture.  It is a print of Constable's "The Haywain" that had been framed by Haigh and Sons, I stopped Hubby on his way to the skip and stashed it away for a makeover.

After a good clean down the first job was to paint the frame with some white eggshell paint I had left over from previous projects.  I used tape to mask off the picture to try and keep the edges clean.

The decorated corners required a kind of splodging technique to try and get into all the nooks and crannies.

Just painting the frame white has changed the whole look of the picture and brightened it up, however, I was not finished yet.

Once the the frame was dry I took the masking tape off the picture and taped it to protect the newly painted frame.

When I took the tape off I did lose some of the surface of  the picture but this was about to be covered in blackboard paint so I wasn't too concerned.

Quite a transformation from the gold framed print of an old master.

It has now been seasoned (chalk pulled down and across to cover the whole surface to ensure that your writing can get rubbed away) and is ready to be hung.

Before I began this project I did my research to ensure that there was no real value in the picture (approx £10-£20), I had this old news story in my mind and wanted to make sure that I was not going to be in the headlines!

So what do you think did I transform trash to treasure or do you think I have trashed a treasure?

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Dipping Gift tags - 50 makes of Christmas 1/50

Having drawn up my list for 50 makes of Christmas I am kicking things off with a very quick easy project that can be used for gifts at anytime of the year, although mine have Christmassy pics drawn on.

I dipped kraft gift tags in that pot of blackboard paint that is still going strong!

Gently shake off some of the excess, tap on the side of the pot but only the dipped area or you may get smudges on the clean sides., I learnt by making that mistake!

I strung them out to dry using a bit of string and some carefully chosen tins from the pantry (small tins to sit on top of big tins!

 It took less than 30 minutes and the trickiest part was threading them on to the piece of string to dry them off!

There was a certain amount of dripping which is to be expected and I did try and incorporate this into another tag but it just looked very messy. I think I prefer the clean lines of the dipped tags.

I will do a second batch as I want to mess around with them a little more and I have washi tape and punches to play with.

I am just thinking that maybe a similar effect could be achieved by pressing the tags onto an ink pad, now you see how my original list of 24 grew, one idea seems to begat another!

Let me know if you have any experience with using chalkboard paint on kraft tags or have you had good results using other paint types?

That is the first one down just forty nine more to go at! at a rough estimation I will need to do about 2 a week to fit them all in before Christmas, however, I can foresee a rush in the later part of the year when I suddenly realise that I haven't squeezed them all in!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

I wish it could be Christmas everyday

I am not going to apologies for using the "C" word so early in the year, in fact I intend to use it more frequently. I am an unashamed lover of Christmas, I enjoy planning for it and I enjoy making for it and I enjoy the whole festival of it.

Last year I blogged my Christmas countdown from the 1st of December up to Christmas Eve but December can be such a busy time of the year not to mention expensive so I have decided to make an early start to ease some of the pressure. I started by compiling a list of 24 makes but I am now up to 75!! some of them are a bit vague "make something with button" some are really detailed with sketches and of course I have started a Pinterest board (currently locked down). I have settled on 50 makes in the end,  but I am not going to publish the list as I think it will evolve a little as I go along and I want this to be a fun thing and not something I must do because the list says so.

Rather than rushing out and buying a whole lot of new stuff I want to try and use up things I already have such as blackboard paint, coloured strings, brown paper, pine cones etc but I do recognise that a small amount of expenditure will be inevitable because my will power is not strong enough! and I may need to get things to finish off a project.

If you are feeling a little festive here is little bit of Wizzard to sing along to.

Please share you thoughts, am I way too early and not living in the moment or am I on your wave length and you already have your own plans drawn up?