Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY Christmas Advent Chain Idea & Free Printable!

My family loves the DIY Christmas advent chain... but how do you make it look fantastic? My struggle is that it always looks like some scraggly chain that doesn't fit in with my Christmas decor.

So this year, I used cardstock that matches my home for the chain (as opposed to any old left over cardstock), then made a cute little printable to put in a frame (you can get it too... when you scroll to the bottom)! 

It hangs on the door from a ribbon on a wreath hanger. Then the kids can reach the loops, and it doesn't look like I just taped it to the wall... although I did just tape it to my picture frame. :)

Make your advent chain (many of us already know this tradition, but for those who don't: cut paper strips, write down the number of days until Christmas - one number per paper strip - then staple them in loops in order, and tear off each loop as you pass each day).

Now you need a place to hang it!

Get your picture frame and decide what size of the printable you want on the wall. My frame was square, and much bigger than an 8x10 - but my printer doesn't print any bigger than 8.5 x 11. So I chose a small square.

But my large picture frame needed a matte...

... so I framed my lime green Christmas wrapping paper! Then I added a blue border of cardstock and used my printable for the centerpiece of the picture.

However you choose to doll it up, frame your printable.

Next, hang it up! If you have wall space, great. If not, do as I did - find an empty door and grab your wreath hanger. Use a sturdy ribbon to hang the frame from the wreath hanger.

And last, tape the advent chain to the picture frame. The kids love it. I love it. Actually, my husband thought it looked fantastic too. And I can reuse it again and again. Yay!

In the spirit of giving, here is your free printable!
 And if you ask my daughter how long until Christmas, she'll tell you. Thanks to the advent chain. :)

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Creative Gift Wrapping

Sometimes you want to give a magazine (or something like that) to a friend.  How do you wrap it?

I have the solution. Wine bottle tube.

 Just roll up the magazine and slip it in.

 I always like to add a little something extra.  Here I felt like a little cookie was just the thing.


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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wire ribbon gift bags tutorial

For Teacher gifts this year, I made little gift bags out of wired ribbon, then stuffed them with pocket size anitbacterial hand sanitizer, Ghiradelli chocolate, and kisses and mint bells.
 This is what I used: Hershey's peppermint bark bells and kisses, Ghiradelli chocolates,  Bath & Body Works pocket bacs, gold wired ribbon, at least 2 inches wide, and tulle on a spool.
Here's how to make it: Cut 28" of wired ribbon. Fold in half. 

From fold, sew a straight basting stitch to the end. Repeat on the other side, making sure to start from the fold, so the bag won't have a pucker toward the bottom/fold. Trim strings.

There's the bag. I slipped the pocketbac in the bottom, and two Ghiradelli chocolate squares. They fit exactly. 

Then topped with kisses and bells and tied of with about 12 inches of tulle ribbon. 
Here they are. Easy and cheap and flexible. Fill with whatever you want.
Happy Christmas! 

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