Saturday, December 20, 2014

Operation: Snowflake

This is one of my favorite activities in the Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown. My Tia friend & I came up with this idea while hanging out at a coffee shop one day. It was a fantastically spontaneous brainstorming session. I had my chai & my lists. She had her caffeine. We made up stories about the strangers around us. (I really should write a book about some of the tales we fabricate.) Anyway, then came about Operation: Snowflake.

"What in the world is Operation: Snowflake?" you ask.
Well, I like to describe it this way: Have you ever toilet papered someone's house? It's like that. But instead of secretly tossing rolls of toilet paper all over the trees of some person unaware, you use paper snowflakes. 
It's much less vandalistic, & more in the spirit of "happy".

First things first: cutting out the snowflakes. I found the tutorial at the end of THIS post helpful, for making a 6-pointed snowflake. You see, I'm a snowflake-cutting newbie. But as soon as I got the basic fold down & cut out a few snowflakes, I had a crazy rhythm going & went wild. The girls & I cut out a total of 65 snowflakes, making up our own designs as we went along. 
It was SO. MUCH. FUN. 

BONUS IDEA: 
Pre-fold a whole bunch of snowflake papers, toss them (& some scissors) in a bowl, & set the bowl on a table. Whoever has an inclination to snip here & cut there, can make a snowflake on a whim. 
Fun, huh?

Here are just sixteen of the snowflakes we made. (It was such a giddy moment every time we opened a snowflake to see the final design. They are so much fun to look at. Lots of oohing & aahing went on. And every time we unfolded one, it was our new "favorite".)
Optional: Carefully iron each snowflake. It sounds annoying (because, hello, I rarely even iron my own CLOTHES) but it really does show off the snowflake to do this step.


Now, to make a simple little sign. After you have secretly decorated your friend's trees with snowflakes, you can hang this sign on the doorknob of their house. 
(Just be careful & try not to get caught!)

I created a quick, no-frills, design on PicMonkey. (I set up a 5x7 DESIGN.) After saving the image to my computer, I opened up Microsoft Word. Select INSERT>PICTURE. After choosing the image you just made from whatever file you saved it in, it will appear on your blank Word document. Right-click on the picture. Select WRAP TEXT & then choose either IN FRONT OF TEXT or BEHIND TEXT, so that you can easily move the image around on the page. I copied & pasted the first image to create a second image, placing them side-by-side. (You can get two on one page.)

Print the signs & cut the paper in half. 
Cut a circle at the top + add a slit for hanging on a door.

On the night of "Operation: Snowflake", my mother & 10-year old were my accomplices. We were all hooded & sneaky-like. The Mr. (who was sure we'd get caught by the dog) drove the getaway van. 
There were two rules: 
1. Be vewy quiet. 
AND 
2. If there's any chance you think we've been seen...RUN! 
But we were so quiet, & it was such a rush when we accomplished our secret task without being caught! 
You can just imagine all the high-fives on the drive back home.

I could not get any good photos of the "Flaking". Which is so sad. Because at night, it looked so magical when all the snowflakes hung from the trees. It really was so pretty!! 
And then it rained late in the night. So the snowflakes got wet. And in the morning, when the surprise revealed itself, the snowflakes were soggy & saggy. 
As an afterthought I should have just rung the doorbell & said, "Look what we just did!"
haha!



The next morning, after my friends guessed it was Team WhiMSy love who "flaked" their house, I stopped by for a visit. I asked them to fake a pose, as if they were seeing the snowflakes covering their trees for the first time. 
They are hilarious.
They LOVED the surprise & we excitedly chatted on & on for the next several minutes about each side of our story in Operation: Snowflake. 


This activity happened to be one of  the girls' surprises in their Balloon Advent Calendar.
A random act of kindess, of sorts. 
Now it's your turn. Crank up those holiday tunes, grab a stack of paper, & get to flaking!


The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
So be sure to check back often!
Click HERE (or the logo on the sidebar) for a list of all the current Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown posts.

Friday, December 19, 2014

DIY: Wood Burned Spool Ornament

I have been staring at my collection of empty wooden spools for a long time, thinking of something to transform them into. It seemed natural to pair these spools with that wood burning tool collecting dust in the top drawer of my crafty cabinet. 

The tool was inexpensive (under $15) & you should totally not be intimidated by it. Give yourself lots of practice time on scrap pieces of wood. You'll find you quickly get a feel for the wood burning tool & the way it works on different types of wood. Before you know it, you fall into a rhythm, burning to your heart's content. I'm not gonna lie: I love the smell of the burn.

A protective surface is important! Oh, & HERE'S a link I found that gives you quick rundown of woodburning, full of great tips.

Commemorate a special year on your wood burned ornaments, or personalize them by adding names! 
Possibilities = endless.











The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
So be sure to check back often!
Click HERE (or the logo on the sidebar) for a list of all the current Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown posts.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

DIY: Embroidered Paper Gift Wrap

This project came about because of my love of "the wrap". I love me some unique gift wrap.

Now, don't run away after seeing those fancy stitches. My sewing machine happens to have lots of settings to create different types of oo-la-la stitches. If yours doesn't, you can still create cool gift wrap using straight lines & zig-zags.

I highly recommend embroidering small pieces of paper. A large piece would not only take a very long time, but it'll use up oodles of your thread. I wouldn't plan on wrapping Susie's bike in this stuff. 

Here's what you'll need to design your own custom embroidered paper...










The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
So be sure to check back often!
Click HERE (or the logo on the sidebar) for a list of all the current Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown posts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY: Finger Knitted Trees

I learned to finger knit 4 years ago. My girls learned right along with me. (Finger knitting is a GREAT activity for kids!) It's a relaxing process to me. Brainless. Monotonous. But in a good way. 

When finger knitting, there's always the question of: "What do I do with all this stuff I just finger knitted?" I call that stuff a "chain". Once you learn to finger knit, you'll have loads of soft, fuzzy chain everywhere. It will literally take over your house.

It's always fun to find a new project to make to help tame the piles of chain. And I hope you like this holiday tree display, made from long chains of finger knitting.

Here are the supplies you'll need...


If you're new to finger knitting, here's a quick video tutorial I made!






A few tips: 
* As I wrapped + glued the cones, I would stop occasionally to do a quick wrap of the remaining finger knitted chain, all the way to the top, checking to see if my length was still accurate. You may need to adjust how tight or loose you are pulling as you go to get it to fit the correct length. I know it's annoying, but there's no real easy way to measure the exact amount of finger-knitted chain you'll need for this project due to the fact that the chain is stretchy, AND it all depends on what kind of yarn you use, too.

* You can certainly start this project by beginning the gluing/wrapping from the top & working your way down. Starting at the bottom was simply my preference.

* To get rid of all the little fine glue gun bits that will, inevitably, appear all over your tree as you work, use a hair dryer on a hot setting.


The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DIY: Clear Vinyl Ornaments

Remember that clear vinyl we were playing with yesterday? Yeah, keep that out for today's project. These whip up so fast! And when you can fill it with so many different things, the possibilities are endless. 

Here's what you'll need to get started...











The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
So be sure to check back often!
Click HERE (or the logo on the sidebar) for a list of all the current Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown posts.