Handmade Holidays: Owls, Pine Cones, and Trees

You guys, I wish I had some good kitchen progress to share today.  But I don’t.  Told you the drawers would make the progress train come to a screeching halt.  I guess screeching halt isn’t quite correct because I have gotten both sides primed (can you say tedious, time-consuming, paint in the butt?) and I’ll work on painting this afternoon.

Just doesn’t seem post worthy now, does it?  Instead, you get to see our Christmas-ified entertainment center.  Here it is, complete with complimentary Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for your viewing pleasure.  Tangent, why is it that only Daisy has a sultry voice while the rest of the gang have annoying, high-pitched voices?

We carried the ‘Winter Wonderland’ theme from the tree over to the entertainment center, too with plenty of trees, a few feathers, and woodland critters.  See those little owls?  They’re made from toilet paper tubes.  I saw this cute idea for hanging owls on Pinterest to create our family, as owls.

The best part, they’re super easy to make and free!  Just fold the tops over, paint, then use a Sharpie marker to draw in details.  Vincent chose green for his owl and Everett requested yellow.  Done!

Randomly placed around the entertainment center you’ll see pine cones.  A few are plain, but using a little Elmer’s glue and glitter, others are covered in Christmas cheer.

Pine cones would be super easy to add to a tree, too, glittered or not.  Just wrap some green wire around the base and then around the tree branch.  Initially, this was my plan, but our tree already looked full.

Above the TP owls, we have another owl, a few feathers, and a ‘snow globe’.

Using an apothecary jar I already had, I made a snow globe.  More Epsom salt as snow, a bottle brush tree from the doll house section at HoLo, and a bird from our terrarium.

In the center, I’ve continued the silhouette ornament family tradition, this time in a fun turquoise color.  The reindeer candle holder was a dollar at Goodwill, the silver tree cost $7 at HoLo (after 50% off), and the brass owl was three bucks from a local thrift store.

For height, I wrapped a wire form from the Dollar Store in a blueish-green yarn and placed it on a small stump from our wood pile.  That thing has come in handy on several occasions.  I was going to use a styrofoam cone, but at $4.49 each, I ditched that idea.  When did styrofoam become so expensive?!? Luckily, the Dollar Store had my back with garland wrapped wire forms.

Wrapping the form was super easy, but I had to deal with the lack of a bottom.  So, I cut a circle from a pizza box and quickly wired it to the bottom.

Over to the right we have more bottle brush trees, pine cones, a 99 cent ceramic origami crane chopstick rest from World Market, and a framed reindeer silhouette.

The reindeer was super easy to make.  I made a silhouette in Photoshop, printed it on plain paper, cut it out, traced it to a sheet of glitter foam, cut that out and taped it to a sheet of card stock.  Here’s a template to make your own.

Another apothecary jar filled with sequin ball ornaments, a pine cone, and more trees, including one from Pier 1 last Christmas round out the entertainment center display.

And, our Christmas tree is finally ready for the grand reveal.

Vincent insisted on hanging his V on the bottom, even though it didn’t fit our theme.  And, here’s a glimpse of a few ornaments we’re sharing on Monday.

Like last year, we’ve hung our stockings from the plate rack.

We’ve got monograms again, too; ornaments from HoLo for $.50 each.

I planned to paint designs, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Maybe I’ll swap out the plain ribbon for something with more color.

We’re officially ready for Christmas.  How about you?  Are you ready?  What areas do you decorate?  Just a tree?  The mantle?  Or are you mantle-less like we are?

P.S.  We’re ready for 2012.  Are you?  Prepare with our new custom silhouette 11 inch by 14 inch wall calendar.

When 2013 rolls around, cut the silhouette design off to frame for years to come.

How To: Pinecone Wreath

By now, I bet you’ve learned two things about me.  Number 1: I like to make a lot of things myself.  Number 2:  I’m cheap.  I like to make things because I’m cheap.  One item I’ve been working on is a pine cone wreath. 

What I love about this wreath is that it can easily transition from autumn, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas, to winter, just by adding a few accessories.  That means, one wreath to store, but two seasons and two holidays of decoration.  Sweet, huh?  Yeah, I think so.  What’s even better?  It’s practically free!

To make a pine cone wreath, start with a wire wreath form, available at craft stores, pinecones, wire, and wire cutters or scissors if your wire is thin enough. 

Cut a length of wire between 9 and 12 inches long.  Wrap the wire around the base of the pine cone, tucking under the petals. 

After wiring a few to the form, I learned that the cones flop around less if you keep part of the wire on each side, rather than twisting like the picture above.

Once your cone is wired, wrap around the wreath form, pulling tightly to keep it firmly in place.  Wrap the wires of the next cone to the previous wiring.  Again, this will keep the pinecones in a tight formation and prevent flopping. 

Group the pinecones as closely together as possible.  The back will look something like this. 

Twist the wires together and cut the ends off.  Continue this process until you re covered the entire wreath form.

If you used large pinecones like I did, you’ll have to find smaller ones to fill in the gaps where the wreath form is visible. 

I bought some golden pine cone picks from Hobby Lobby for $.50 each, after a 50% discount. 

I cut the pinecones off the pick and followed the same wiring process to fill in the gaps.  Add the small filler pinecones and the wreath is finished. 

The way you choose to hang the wreath will depend on your situation.  You can add a few lengths of fishing line or hang from a hook.  You might be wondering why my wreath is on m dining room window.  Well, friends, that’s because it’s friggin’ freezing in Montana.  I literally have not left our house in days due to the cold.  Cold like a high of 5°.  Which means, the suction cup hook I bought won’t work on the outside of our front door.  It requires a minimum of 40° to stick.  So, it’s hanging in our dining room. 

I will share details on how to add decorative items to add some seasonal pizzaz.  What are you doing to spruce up your home for Thanksgiving?