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winter decor tutorials

Scarf Wreath Makeover

here's an easy way to update an old wreath using knit scarves!
1. start with a straw or foam wreath form (new or used)
2. if used, remove greenery, ribbons, etc. until you have
 3. a bare wreath form

 4. get a scarf- used or new
[this one was on sale for $2 at Old Navy!]
  5. begin wrapping the scarf around the wreath form
at the bottom middle, and work in both directions toward the top.
 6. at the top, pin the scarf ends to the wreath form
and let the fringed ends hang loose. 
[if your scarf is long enough, you can tie a knot]
 7. take one sleeve of a sweater (or another scarf in a different color)
  8. and cut both sides LENGTHWISE (into two long pieces)  
9. before separating the pieces, cut the sleeve's cuff into fringe.
 10. hot glue or sew the other (un-fringed) short edges,
with right sides  together.
wrap that piece around the top of the wreath, making a 'bow'. 
[again, if it's long, you can tie it in a knot or bow -
or even tie it in a regular 'scarf knot']
 you could also add a pair of $1 mittens in another color for fun!

for winter decor, 
add snowflake ornaments and crystals to a white or cream scarf-wrapped wreath
for an elegant touch

Make New Books Look Old

Glass Lamp Globe Snow Globe

materials needed:
small glass or china figure (s)
hot glue gun & glue sticks
white or clear glass bowl / dish with a stem
paper, wax, plastic, or glitter snowflakes
clear glass lamp globe
First, grab some clear glass lamp globes at the thrift or hardware store.

Then, find some small figurines at thrift shops or the dollar store
[ Spray paint them gloss white for a monochromatic look like mine, if you don't like the colors of them ]

along with some small pedestals or stemmed bowls - these will be bases for the snowglobes.
Any style will work for these... 
I use vintage elements for mine because I love a classic, old-world look.
You could also use very modern, shiny bases and figurines - or happy, colorful kids' toys!

You'll also need hot glue, a hot glue gun, and some faux snow or glitter to complete this project.

Wash the glass globes, figurines, and bases and dry them thoroughly.
[ Any dirt or grease on them will prevent the glue from adhering properly ]
 Next, hot glue the figurine into the center of the shallow stemmed bowl or pedestal
[ I prefer to use hot glue  - because if I want to change it all later, hot glue will peel off! ]

You can add more elements to your globe -
I also glued a clear plastic snowflake from the dollar store behind the little vintage choirboy figure.

Now, the last part is a bit tricky:
Sit the glass lamp globe inside a bowl or box on your work surface,  

so that the rounded top is down and the opening is facing straight up.
 Add some faux snow flakes, epsom salt, or white glitter inside of it.

Quickly put a bead of hot glue all around the edge / lip of the globe,
then turn the base with the figure glued to it upside down -
and lower it onto the lip of the glass globe, so that they adhere together.

After a few moments, flip the whole thing over
and you have a snowglobe on a base with a sweet figure and 'snow' inside!

Tee-Shirt Mannequin

Optional bases include Christmas treeslampshades, and wire tomato cages!
SAFETY TIP: If you place your mannequin form on a Christmas tree,
REMOVE LIGHTS on the branches under the form.

Fabric Hearts

Here's what you NEED:
 NOTE: burlap is the HARDEST fabric to work with... you might want to start with cotton fabrics or sweaters.

Here's what you DO:
1. Cut a piece of fabric that is @ 6 to 8" wide and 12 to 16" long.
2. Fold it over once, then twice, to prepare it for cutting into a heart shape.
3. On a piece of regular paper, draw half a heart shape that will fit the fabric strip size.
You can trace a heart-shaped cookie cutter if you want it perfect!
4. Fold the paper in half at the middle of the heart.
5 Cut the heart shape out.
6. This image is to show you how large the cutout heart is in relation to the fabric.
START with 7. Place the folded heart shape over the previously-folded fabric strip.
8. Cut around the heart shape to cut the fabric.
9. You will have two identical fabric hearts.
10. If you want to write or stencil a word on your heart,
TURN ONE OF THE HEARTS OVER before you add the word!
11. Then flip the heart back over so that the word is between both pieces.
12. Sew the two fabric hearts together, by hand or with a machine.
13. LEAVE A SPACE UN-SEWN along the bottom of one side!
14. Carefully turn the heart inside-out - you can see the un-sewn area here.
15. Stuff the heart with polyfil stuffing, paper shred, a plastic bag, etc.
16.Carefully sew the opening closed, by hand or with a machine.
17. Trim the edge of the sewn seam to neaten it up.
Any fabric works well for this project,
from blankets, quilts and dishtowels to tee shirts, sweaters - even SOCKS!

Vintage Paper Swedish Hearts

decorative paper, a few sheets of printer paper, and scissors 
Vintage sheet music, dictionary pages, and faded old school paper
are perfect for a pale palette. Vintage wrapping paper is beautiful, too,
and kids love using comic book pages! 
You'll need TWO different papers to make the weaving stand out.
1. To ensure that your hearts are all of similar size,
create 'patterns' - those are the darker tan paper shapes shown in photo 1.
Just cut a rectangle out of a folded sheet of regular printer paper.
The fold will be on the bottom straight end, with a cutout curve on the other end.
Make as many sizes as you'd like your hearts to be!
2. Fold your decorative papers in half, and place a pattern at THE FOLDED EDGE.
The square end of the pattern will sit on the fold.
Then cut out your shape
You can fold both papers together and cut them at the same time,
if they are not too thick.
3. Next, remove the pattern and hold the shapes TOGETHER,
and cut into them right down the middle...CAREFULLY!
You want to cut from the FOLDED EDGE up
JUST below where the curve begins
By holding both shapes together when you do this step,
you make sure that the cut is the same width on each piece,
so that they'll fit together easily in the next step...
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your second paper choice. 
5. Separate the two pieces, and leave them folded in half.
Each 'strip' is a loop, with two sides.
You'll place the strips inside one another in an alternating pattern.
Begin with strip 1 of piece A, and pass it through strip 1 of piece B.
[here, A is the ivory paper and B is the sheet music]
6. Insert strip 2 of piece B [sheet music] into strip 1 of piece A [ivory paper]
When both strips have been woven in this 'in/out' pattern, photo shows what it looks like.
8. Note that the second strip is loose... now take it, and weave the REVERSE pattern.
Since you put [1A] INTO [1B] first on the last strip,
[ivory paper INSIDE sheet music]
you'll put [2B] into [2A] on this one.
[sheet music INSIDE ivory paper]
In photo 8 you can see how you have to flex the strips just a bit
to get them to go INSIDE the other strip...
be gentle, especially if you are using vintage papers. They are fragile.
Finished hearts

if you are feeling 
quite accomplished at this already...

 You can cut MULTIPLE 'strips' into each shape.
[you may want to use larger sized patterns for this step,
so that each strip is still sturdy enough to not tear as you flex it]
11 and 12. The weaving gets incrementally more difficult the more strips you cut,
but they are beautiful when finished!

this tutorial also appears in the Winter 2013 issue of Creating Vintage Charm Magazine

Giant Letter Tiles

a piece of wood (details below)
sandpaper (fine grit)
sanding sealer spray
a black Sharpie fine point marker
clear varnish spray

and then the notes under the photos...
 finish grade vertical grain douglas fir runs about $1.50 per linear foot - 
less than $10 for a 6 foot board, which yields 14 letter tiles.
[if you want to have a LOT of letters, grab two boards or a longer length]

quick note:
yes, you CAN use reclaimed lumber, old flooring, old fencing, 
or whatever you want to use to make your letter tiles.
the douglas fir grain & color gives the best 'just like the game pieces' look, though.

and yes, the guys in the lumber department at Lowes & Home Depot WILL cut it for you!
all you have to do is ask them to, and give them the 5" measurement. 
[you may be charged 50 cents per cut, but it saves you the work!]
 sand the edges FIRST, then the tops - the tops look better that way.
then spray the sealer on the side that you will be lettering, and let dry.
[you can seal the whole thing if you want, but it's only necessary to keep the Sharpie marker ink from bleeding into the woodgrain.]

figure out what you want your letters to spell out, 
and add a letter to each tile using the black Sharpie marker.
 a straight ruler and a smooth curved jar lid will help keep your lettering crisp.

seriously, let the marker dry - if you don't, it will run when you spray the varnish on!
let the varnish dry 30 minutes, then flip & spray the back. spray the edges, too.
let dry at least an hour in a warm place to 'cure' the varnish before you use them.

that's it!
now you have letters to make a sign with, or a trivet, or coasters
you can adhere hooks to the back and hang them up, or....?
and if you head to a salvage yard or the ReStore,
you might just find a length of old wooden gutter to display them in!


.zGift Bag Wall Art

start with some cute bags (paper, vinyl, maybe with GLITTER!) with a seasonal message - 
such as 'Happy Valentine's Day - printed on them. (since our goal is to create inexpensive 'sign art')
you can find them in many sizes at discount retailers like the Dollar Tree, 99 Cent stores, Walmart, etc.

now you're ready to begin...
first, let's prep the bags
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top left: GENTLY pull the bottom of the bag open. it's glued shut - go slow so it won't tear.
top right: next, cut the bag exactly in half, down the middle of each side, 
then lay the two pieces out flat.
lower left: remove the handle by GENTLY pulling the glued-on paper that holds it.
lower right: iron both sides of the paper flat.

now, let's use those pieces of paper to create some art...

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to create a 'wrapped canvas' look
grab a box from the recycle bin, or maybe an existing canvas you have on hand, 
in a size that the paper you have will cover.

then follow these steps: 
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lay your box down on the paper, facing right side up, and figure out where the center is.
then flip the paper over so your box is sitting on the 'wrong' side of the paper.

top right: use a pencil to lightly draw lines on the paper around the edge of the box.
remove the box, and fold sharp creases following the lines.
middle: put the box back, and fold the paper up around all of the edges,
as if you were gift-wrapping the box,
then use a few small drops of hot glue or staples to keep them in place.
(so you can remove the paper later if desired)

bottom left: i recommend doing the top & bottom first, then the sides last 
bottom right: fold in the corners when you do the sides for a neat finish.

then trim off any excess paper behind the box so it lays flat against the wall.

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framed art is even easier to create
just cut the paper to fit inside a photo frame.
(i love this vintage frame, and create new art for it every season).


find all of my winter home decor posts here