Christmas Crafts – Make The Holiday Yours

Glitter Lichen embellished branches

Christmas decorating begins in earnest this week! Sooner for those with faux trees.

I thought I might share some craft ideas to involve design, creating together, and bring the magic of the holiday into your home without a siege of your decor.

Vignettes placed around the house are wonderful, particularly when seen at close proximity as people mingle around the room. Martha Stewart is in my mind a queen of Christmas decor, but like the color trends I have shared all year, I suggest reinventing the ideas of others to create your individual interpretation – let’s start with Martha.

Martha Stewart Glitter Bird Project from MarthaStewart.com - image from MarthaStewart.com

Look for a branch in your backyard (or buy a faux one at a crafts store).

the tinsel and a partially wrapped branch

Tools and Materials
Small craft brush
Feathered birds
White glue
Glitter in various textures and hues
Thin lametta tinsel
Branch

How-To:
1. Using brush, coat a bird’s tail with glue; sprinkle spoonfuls of glitter on top. Let glue dry; shake off excess glitter. Repeat with wings, then body and head.

2. Secure tinsel to one end of the branch with glue, then wrap branch, tucking in a new piece of tinsel when necessary. Tuck end of last piece under to secure. Fasten birds to branch with the wires on their feet.

It looks great, and the tinsel is at Target for $3 per spool – but if you head out to your local crafts store, you will probably find nary a single craft bird…don’t dismay. Just add your own twist!

What if…….

While walking the dog, I saw these particularly lovely lichen-covered branches in a neighbor’s rubbish pile. I love lichen! Lichen is that minute growth occurring on rocks and tree bark resembling moss, and becoming particularly visible after a soaking rain.

Cut your branches to the size you desire.

Experiment with what decorations you like when you create your project – I tried out some cardinals with a bit of glitter, but decided to go with a forest dweller theme. I wanted to embellish the look of lichen, so I bought some glitter – true crafters will laugh, but the scope and evolution of glitter reall surprised me! I went with velvet glitter, because it resembled the texture of lichen.

velvet glitter I picked up at Joanne's fabric

To simulate the lichen form, I roughly about hot glue in layers. I chose colors that seemed consistent with the colors of lichen and added some peacock blues and greens. I show this unfinished, but the whole branch can be embellished, and to keep the lichen a prominent feature, you need only mist your branches every few days.

To reinforce a natural theme, I “iced” branch and twig ends with ice blue glitter and clear glue that looks like ice.

Container displays are usually vertically formated – so I decided to orient mine horizontally to shake it up.

This is not a finished display – I played with this in July! This is just a taste to get you started – you can use more or less ornamentation, substitute origami, cookies, or…

Handmade things by the people you love. Some of these ornaments are 2 decades old, and the hands that created them are helping their kids create their own Christmas treasures – it just makes them all the more special!

The best thing about “vignettes” is the magic that happens when you are close and personal. And shouldn’t the holidays be person?

Sanded glass mushroom ornament

Tiny mini-lights add an extra dimension, at less than $8 per string – the battery case is buried in the bead garland.

Repeat your theme in your accessories – many aspects and characters make your design story magically come to life!

Areaware Pillows and a Vintage Cake ChandelierFind woodland Christmas critters at: http://www.homeaccessoryaccents.com/livingroom/pillows-throws/areaware