Handmade Holidays

There’s something about Christmas, and holidays in general, that makes me craft-crazy. The minute I hear the first jingle bell, I get the itch to needle-felt reindeer ornaments, decorate a 4 foot tower of snowflake cookies and block print my own wrapping paper. I dream about snipping, frosting, sewing, gluing—and then I wake up to the reality of my family’s time-crunched schedule. Martha Stewart disciples, Etsy-ites and amateur artisans of the world, tell us: How do you find the time?? The good news is that buying other people’s handiwork, and “borrowing” simple DIY ideas, makes me feel almost as good as if I came up with it myself. Here are some of our favorite picks for a happy, hands-on holiday season. Gorgeous Garland This knotted ribbon garland, made by tying jewel-toned strips of fabric or ribbon to a string of lights, is something I could do with my daughters on one wintry afternoon. Image http://psimadethis.com/post/14510592731/bring-joy-to-the-world-this-holiday-season-use Cranberry Candle: Ridiculously easy and completely genius, this Mason jar filled with real cranberries, simple greenery, water and a floating candle (via Better Homes & Gardens http://www.bhg.com/) is a thrifty and sweet way to warm up a table.  We think mixing various sizes of jars and grouping them together would be so chic. Image Cupcakes in a jar! Speaking of Mason jars, this cupcake in a jar idea via www.mycakies.com is perfect. What a great hostess gift, kids party favor, or sweet little treat for all of the people on your list. Image Owl Garland via Paper Source We've never seen an owl we didn't love, and this garland kit from Paper Source combines exactly the right amount of professional looking polish with DIY spirit! http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/item/Holiday-Owl-Garland-Kit/2950.402/4071295636.html?utm_source=Thanx&utm_medium=PS%2BSearch&utm_campaign=product Image Letterpress Wrapping Paper I could spend hours on Etsy.com admiring all of those awesome ideas. Sometimes, I let them do the work for me, like with this beautiful handmade wrapping paper. Image http://www.etsy.com/shop/starshapedpress?ref=seller_info Martha Stewart takes it up a notch with this perfect how-to here: http://www.marthastewart.com/274678/gift-wrapping-ideas/@center/307035/santas-workshop Advent Calendar This simple countdown-to-Christmas calendar is the easiest & chicest we've seen. Number stamps, ink, a couple of yards of lace, clothespins and a cork board (maybe painted this serene shade of blue or covered with felt?) is all you need. They use empty t.p. rolls, but small envelopes from an office supply store would do the trick. Fill each pocket with tiny treats. http://www.womansday.com/home/craft-ideas/christmas-craft-toilet-paper-roll-advent-calendar-111777 Image Let the Glue Gun Games begin!
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