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By Pandora

Pandora’s Christmas Gift/Decoration Ideas DIY Part 2

Here are a few things that I made for Christmas gifts & decorations around the house. Most only took me a short amount of time but there are a few that took a day or two because of things needing to dry.

Trinket Boxes:  For these Trinket Boxes I took some empty match boxes (but any small container will work just fine). I then covered the outsides with various shapes I punched out (clovers & butterflies) collage style & then inside I used other decorative paper. I punched a small hole in the front of the inside box & added a ribbon as a handle of sorts. And finally I placed a small picture in the bottom of the box as a small surprize.

To fill the box I simply looked around. If you do a lot of sewing/crafts you probably have tons of little trinkets sitting around and if not try your junk drawer (everyone has one). I used buttons, stickers, quarter machine toys, little shiny gems, & other tiny things to fill the box. The great thing is you can have fun filling them, personalize them, and do them quickly. I would say though if you want to save some time do not go the collage route. It took some time to make sure the whole box was covered. One warning, depending on the type of container you use & how you opt to decorate the box, constant sliding or closing the box can damage & fold down any paper you may glue to the outside around the edges.

Cupcake/Food Toppers:  The cupcake toppers I have seen various ones for sale in stores & they can be quite pricey, so I thought I would make them instead. These can be as easy or as difficult as you choose to make them. There are many ways to create these; but I will run through 2 that I can think of. First way you will need a knowledge of Photoshop (or other similar program). Create circles (or any shape you wish) place an image in the center & print them out. I made the cupcake ones double sided so I printed out twice as many as I wanted. Then cut them out, glued them the colored toothpicks, and let them dry. Have no clue how to work with Photoshop? No worries. You can trace circles onto pretty paper & cut them out (my toothpick container happens to be the right size circle). You can then draw, paint, stamp, or find small images to glue in the center. Attach to tooth picks & you are good to go.

The food toppers I made for my Mom. She loves having themed parties & making food to go along with it. She often writes on note cards or scraps of paper what dishes are and then sets them in front of the item. So I decided to make her little flags of sorts. Very simply it says Dish and then has lines for her to fill in what the item is. I left space though on the left hand side where I attached the toothpick to the back so when she was filling it out she wouldn’t have that bump to contend with.  Once again you can make it by hand if you would rather not mess around with a computer.

Twig Stars: I live in the middle of the woods so I figured I would put to good use all the things that I have just laying around waiting to be used (you will see more items below as well). This is yet another item that I saw for sale in a store & they were charging $8 for. So I came home & just made some instead. I found a variety of twigs & sticks laying around outside. I then brought them in, made sure nothing was living on them and set to work. I laid out 5 in a shape of a star, trimmed down what need to be trimmed so they would be similar sizes, sanded down rough edges (you don’t want people getting splinters from your gift after all) and then once I was happy I hot glued them together in their shape. Once it was dry I then took some vine that I also found outside & simply wrapped some around the points. You could also weave more vine in out of the body of the star as well. I found that the dead vine worked better than the living. The living would break & exposed green would show. However if it has been dead for awhile it will just snap. I secured the vine in back with a tiny dab of hot glue. Be prepared to have to hold it there for a little while until it dries, vines have a mind of their own & will pop up flinging hot glue right at your face if you are not prepared.

Garden Rocks:  I found several rocks that were fairly flat on both the top & bottom. First thing is I washed them to make sure all the dirt & grim were off of them. Once the rocks dried I painted on them. These are in Gaelic (which I really hope that the Gaelic website I went to was correct in these sayings); but you can do anything you want & if you think you aren’t great at painting you can find cheap stencils almost anywhere.  And then I sealed the rocks to make sure that the paint will not be washed away in the rain. If you want less natural more polished look you can seal the rock first with Gesso, it will give you a white background to paint on.

Scented Pinecones:  After collecting pinecones from outside I brought them in, placed them in a disposable aluminum pan (which I kept them in the whole time I was working with them, kept the mess contained), and placed them in the oven on low for a short amount of time. This helps them open up more, dries them out if they were damp, and helps to ensure that any little bugs you were not aware of are no longer crawling around in them. Keep a close eye on them though if you leave them in the oven for too long they will open up so much that they will start looking like things are bending backwards. When they were cooled back off I sprayed the pinecones all over with a spray adhesive and then sprinkled on ground cinnamon & clove, making sure to roll the pinecones around to cover them completely. I then covered them with some aluminum foil to let the adhesive dry. Next I hot glued ribbon on the top to form a hanger & tied a bow to glue to the front. I wrapped them individually in plastic wrap to make sure during transportation & unwrapping none of the cinnamon comes lose & gets on other things.

Trees Outside:  I wanted to go with a more natural look this year with some of my outside decorating. I placed two small trees on the front porch of my house. I used small plastic trashcans that I found at a dollar store & then covered them in red plastic from a party table cloth that also came from a dollar store. The leftover plastic I used to wrap empty boxes in to set around the base of the trees (it is water proof & holds up well outside). To decorate the trees I collected some small pinecones & cut some small pieces of holly. I attached them to the tree using floral wire. I also collected some sycamore balls; spray painted them white & attached them with the wire. The top I attached a plastic bow meant for outdoors.

Few other decorations I used outside.

Paper Mache Ball painted & sealed

Baskets Filled With Pinecones & Holly

Basket With Pinecones & Holly & I used more of the plastic table cloth to create a bow & decorations to the metal stand. The mat is 2 dinner mats glued together that I painted to make holiday like.

And finally here are pieces of wood that took me forever to saw off of a fallen tree. I will be painting them to say things like "Merry Christmas", sealing them, adding fake holly or some form of decoration, and adding a hanger on it.

Have you made something awesome for a gift or decoration? Want to brag about? By all means please do in the comments below! Also if you have a better way of doing something that I created please share that too, I'm always looking for better ways.