Christmas in July: It’s a festive & fun Felt Wreath with fanciful pom pom trim

It’s day four of Christmas in July, and designer Debra Quartermain is sharing a bright and happy Holiday Pom Pom Wreath. Just like the bejeweled Christmas Topiaries Christie shared with us yesterday, Debra’s wreath is in non-traditional Christmas colors – hot pink and lime green. This DIY Christmas Wreath is easy and it’s a Christmas craft that kids can make, too. (Don’t forget to enter the Christmas in July giveaway!)

DIY Christmas Wreath easy

Holiday Pom Pom Wreath by Debra Quartermain.

To Make a Holiday Pom Pom Wreath, you will need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1” x 12” wreath, 6” cone
  • Felt, 9” x 12”, 4 pieces of neon green, 1 candy pink
  • Expo International Pom Pom trim, 4 yds of pink and 1 yd green*
  • Buttons, eight 1/2”, lime green
  • Thread spool
  • Fabric glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; straight pins; pencil; ruler

*You can find Expo International pom pom trim at WalMart.

DIY Christmas Wreath easy

You need just a few basic supplies for this wreath. Yay!

To make a Holiday Pom Pom Wreath:

1. Cut neon green felt into 2” by 12” strips. Pin and glue the end of one strip to the back of the wreath, and wrap the strip around the wreath. Pin and glue the other end to the back of the wreath. Continue wrapping the wreath in felt strips till it’s covered.

DIY Christmas wreath easy

Starting at the back of the wreath, pin and glue the felt strips in place and then wrap the wreath.

2. Wrap the pink pom pom trim around the wreath, pinning and gluing as needed.

DIY Christmas wreath easy

Wrap it up with pom poms!

3. Make the mini tree:

  • Wrap the pink felt around the cone. Trim off excess felt and glue edge to cone.
  • Trace around the bottom of the cone on a scrap felt piece, and cut out. Glue to the bottom of the cone.
  • Wrap the spool in a 2” strip of lime green felt, and glue in place.
  • Glue the spool to the bottom of the foam cone.
  • Wrap green pom pom trim twice around the top and bottom of the cone. Glue in place.
  • Glue buttons to tree.
DIY Christmas wreath easy

Wrap the cone in pink felt, trim off excess, and glue in place.

DIY Christmas wreath easy

The trunk is a sewing spool, wrapped in felt.

4. Insert the tree into the center of the wreath.

DIY Christmas wreath easy

I love the bright colors, but of course, you can use any colors you choose.

Between the bright colors, the fun pom poms, and the little tree, this is such a celebratory wreath! I hope you’ll visit Debra’s blog Making Celebrating – she is one talented lady! If you missed it, be sure to read about the lovely visit I had with Debra at her B&B, the Quartermain House B&B.

We have one more day to celebrate Christmas in July! See you tomorrow!

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Wreaths, Craft Tutorial, Fabric Craft, Giveaways, Kid's Crafts, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Christmas in July: DIY lavish, elegant, Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries

Ooh la la! I have such a treat for you today! Christie Troxell, designer, artist, event planner, and a member of the Expo International design team, is sharing with us her trio of vintage style, Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries. Enrobed in nontraditional colors, you could display these luscious topiaries year-round – and why not, they’re beautiful! Now, Christie will walk you through her tutorial for her Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries.

DIY Topiaries

They’re so fancy!

It happened again; I blinked, and an entire month of summer passed by! While we’ve been enjoying sunny days at the beach and lots of time spent making summertime memories with friends and family, inevitably, my mind wanders ahead to the holidays. 

DIY Topiaries

Christie “dipped” a corner in jewels!

Christmas in July is one of my favorite ways to get my holiday fix in the middle of the year. It’s a fun departure from summer activities, and offers a little dose of holiday cheer that tides me over until the weather cools down and the sleigh bells start ringing. 

DIY Topiaries

Display these trees year-round, or as a centerpiece for a special party.

Crafting up some pretty Christmas decor is just one of the ways I love to celebrate. I created a trio of vintage styled Christmas trees in my own signature style, using versatile STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, stunning lace and ribbon trims from Expo International, and vintage jewelry findings from my own collection of thrifted treasures. Walk with me in a winter wonderland; it’s Christmas in July!

To make Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries, you’ll need:

DIY Topiaries

Supplies needed to make Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries.

To make Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries:

1. While I love the traditional reds and greens associated with Christmas, I wanted to create a unique palette for this project that would coordinate with my existing home furnishings. I hand dyed the lace trims with coral and black fabric dye. This was done a day in advance, to give the lace time to absorb the color, and to dry.

2. I applied a bead of hot glue to the tip of an 8” cone, and pressed on the end of my ivory rosette ribbon trim. Once secured, I wrapped the trim tightly around the cone at an angle, adding a dot of glue occasionally to keep the trim in position. Once I had wrapped the entire cone, I glued the excess by overlapping it on the bottom of the cone and gluing in place.

DIY Topiaries

Starting at the top of a cone, glue on one end of the lace, and wrap the lace around the cone on a slight diagonal.

3. Repeat Step 2 and wrap the 12” cone in gray dyed lace, wrapping at an angle from the top of the cone to the bottom.

4. I wrapped the second, 8” cone from top to bottom in red tulle. This creates a base color that is visible through the lace trim I planned to use. Next, I wrapped the cone in the coral lace, wrapping on an angle from top to bottom.

DIY Topiaries

Christie first wrapped her cone in red tulle, and then added a layer of peach lace for a subtle, two-tone effect.

The wrapped trees would be lovely to display just as they are, but I always like to go a little overboard, especially at Christmas time! Adding sparkle and shine to these pretty Christmas trees is very easy to do, with dazzling rhinestone buttons and pearls from Expo International. 

DIY Topiaries

All wrapped up and ready for embellishing!

5. For the 12” tree, I added seven Chloe Ruffled Flowers, spaced randomly. I love the pale peachy color and the delicate gold trim on these embellishments. I also adore the combination of peach with grey, and gold is the perfect metallic to set off the pairing. To finish the look, I glued Six-Stone Flower Rhinestone Buttons and Starburst Rhinestone Buttons to the center of each rosette, and topped the tree with an inverted clear glass diamond from my collection.

DIY Topiaries

Christie added a rhinestone button to the center of each flower.

6. Next, I pored through my collection of junk jewelry to select the perfect pieces to embellish the ivory tree. Whenever I’m at the flea market, I’m always on the lookout for jars of junk jewelry at bargain prices. I display it in my studio in pretty apothecary jars, and dig into it often, searching for just the right embellishments for my projects. Once I had gathered my choices, I used the glue gun to adhere them from the base of the tree in a cluster. I decided not to cover the entire surface, opting instead to create a “dipped” effect, achieved by covering just the bottom portion of the tree in a triangular shape. I added a fun round piece to the top and added some assorted gems to cover the exposed surface area. For a final touch, I added a little string of sparkling chandelier crystals.

DIY Topiaries

Christie has a fabulous collection of costume jewelry picked up at flea markets.

How to DIY a Topiary

Christie added the jewels in a triangular shape along the base of the cone, creating a “dipped” effect.

7. For the final tree, I decided to use pearls as the main embellishments. These pearl glass beads from Expo International were just perfect! The larger sized beads were glued on in a random pattern to resemble ornaments, while the smaller beads were left on their strands and draped like garland onto the tree, overlapping in places just like a real Christmas tree. As luck would have it, I found a grey hued gem in my treasure collection, and used the end of my scissors to hollow out a hole in the tip of the cone, then glued it in and embellished it with a sparkling rhinestone button.

How to decorate as topiary

Christie made a hole at the top of the cone, and then added a crystal and rhinestone button.

8. To give the smaller trees a bit of elevation, I flipped over two mercury glass dishes and glued the trees to the pedestals.

DIY Topiaries

Beautiful!

The finished display is such a delight, evoking memories of Christmas past, and sparkling with opulent gems and stones. I love the unconventional palette, and how well it coordinates with own home decor. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little departure from summer with me; thanks for stopping by to celebrate Christmas in July!

DIY Topiaries

Why not decorate with a nontraditional color palette this Christmas?

So fancy, right? Thank you, Christie! I think you’ll really enjoy getting to know Christie over on her blog Ritzy Parties, so be sure to stop in and say “hello.”

If Christie has put you in the mood for Christmas crafting, be sure to enter the Christmas in July giveaway! The prize package includes:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: Two each 10″ and 8″ cones; one 12″ wreath; two 6″ balls; and six, 3″ balls.
  • A collection of trims from Expo International.
  • A few goodies from Ganong, Canada’s oldest chocolate and candy company (read about Debra’s connection to Ganong here). The goodies include a Ganong T-shirt (size XL); a bag of their signature Chicken Bones™ candy; a pair of Roman nougat bars; and two maple leaf lollipops. (Unfortunately, it’s too hot to ship their chocolates.)

Here’s how you can enter for your chance to win the Christmas in July prize package. Be sure to enter by midnight on Thursday, August 3.

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Bridal Showers, Christmas Topiaries, Craft Tutorial, Giveaways, Topiaries, Vintage Crafts, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Christmas in July: DIY a Party Hat Snowman

Thanks to Expo International, we’re celebrating Christmas in July this week. Donna Budzynski is back today with her adorable Snowman in a fancy party hat! (Did you see Donna’s Rustic Christmas Trees yesterday?) I’m a little intimidated by painting, but with Donna’s tutorial, I think I could paint this snowman’s cute face. I might even use birthday print cardstock and pompom trim and make his hat a birthday party hat. Be sure to check out the Christmas in July giveaway, too!

DIY Snowman

I’d love to make this snowman for a winter birthday, and make his hat a party hat!

How to paint asnowman face

Donna makes it easy to paint this sweet face.

To make a Party Hat Snowman, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 6” ball
  • Expo International Trim Pipa Eyelash Trim – Red
  • Acrylic craft paint in black, white, pink, holly green, and canyon orange (Donna likes DecoArt)
  • Papier mache pot
  • Wood skewer
  • Cardstock for hat
  • Microbeads, clear*
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive
  • Tools needed: Scissors; pencil with eraser; flat paintbrush; small round paintbrush; water/container

*Donna used clear microbeads from Martha Stewart. If you can’t find microbeads, substitute crystal glitter instead.

To make a Party Hat Snowman:

  1. Make a carrot nose: Cut the wood skewer to size and paint orange. Let dry.

2. Paint face onto the ball of STYROFOAM Brand Foam:

  • Dip pencil eraser into black paint, and make a dot for eyes and mouth.
  • Dip pencil eraser in pink paint and dab on cheeks.
  • Draw line for eyebrows with small round paintbrush.
  • Add a white dot to each eye and and a fine, white line in the mouth.
  • Insert nose in face.
  • Let paint dry.
How to paint a snowman face

You’ll use a pencil eraser to add the eyes, cheeks and mouth. Easy!

3. Mix white craft glue with water so that it’s the consistency of paint. Brush mixture onto the snowman’s head, and sprinkle with clear microbeads. (Note: You can substitute crystal glitter for the microbeads). Let dry.

How to paint a snowman face

If you can’t find microbeads, substitute clear glitter.

4. Roll cardstock into cone for hat. Check fit on snowman’s head and trim away excess paper. Glue hat together. Glue eyelash trim to top and around bottom of the hat. (Donna recommends Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive for this step).

DIY Snowman

Add your trim around the pot and the hat.

5. Paint pot green and let dry. Adhere trim around the top of the pot.

6. Glue hat to snowman’s head, and glue snowman head into pot.

 DIY Snowman

How would you change up this cutie?

Christmas is five months from today! So, be sure to check out the Christmas in July giveaway. It will put you in the mood for Christmas crafting! Here’s how to enter.

If you’d like to see more of Donna’s beautiful designs, don’t miss her blog!

I’ll see you tomorrow more another Christmas in July tutorial!

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Craft Tutorial, Giveaways, Mixed Media, Snowmen, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Christmas in July: DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Topiaries

Today is the first day of a weeklong Christmas in July series, with thanks to the design team from Expo International. Today, design team member Donna Budzynski shares her easy, DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Cones. Check out the rich colors and textures in the gimp trim she’s using. I like her subtle chalk paint finish on the wood pieces, too – the understated finish adds another layer of rustic charm to her finished trees. Thank you, Donna, for kicking off Christmas in July! (And, there’s a giveaway announcement today!)

DIY Rustic Christmas decor

Rustic Christmas Cones by Donna Budzynski.

To make Rustic Christmas Tree Cones, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: 12” and 9” cones 
  • Expo International Trim – Hairy Gimp Trim – Cranberry Multi
  • Wooden accents: Pedestal base and finial top for each cone
  • Paint:
    • Chalk paint (Donna used Americana Decor® Chalky Finish™ paint)
    • Antiquing medium (Donna used DecoArt Staining/Antiquing Medium)
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive
  • Tools needed: Scissors; paintbrush; baby wipes; water/container
DIY rustic Christmas decor

Trims & cones and ready to go!

To make Rustic Christmas Tree Cones:

1. Paint the wood bases and finials with the chalk paint. Following instructions on the bottle, wipe on the antiquing medium.

DIY rustic Christmas decor

Donna used Americana Decor® Chalky Finish™ paint on the wood pieces, and then wiped on an antiquing stain.

2. Squeeze a generous amount of thick, white craft glue onto each pedestal, and adhere the cones. Let glue dry.

3. Starting at the bottom of a cone, wrap the gimp trim around the cone, gluing in place as you go. (Donna recommends Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive for this step). Continue to wrap the cone till it’s covered.

DIY rustic Christmas decor

Just wrap and glue on this luscious gimp trim!

4. Glue a finial to the top.

DIY rustic Christmas decor

Don’t you want to reach out and touch these cones?

These Rustic Christmas Cones would be right at home in an upscale home décor shop. I would want to reach out and touch them if I saw them on display! And wait till you see what Donna is sharing with us tomorrow! I know a lot of you will adore the little guy.

Be sure to stop in at Donna’s blog and say “hello”. Poke around and see some of her other projects, too – I know you’ll be inspired!

When I visited with Debra Quartermain at the Quartermain House B&B, we brainstormed this week’s Christmas in July feature. We also wanted to celebrate the week with a giveaway that will kick start your Christmas crafting! Here’s what’s in the giveaway package:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: Two each 10″ and 8″ cones; one 12″ wreath; two 6″ balls; and six, 3″ balls.
  • A collection of trims from Expo International.
  • A few goodies from Ganong, Canada’s oldest chocolate and candy company (read about Debra’s connection to Ganong here). The goodies include a Ganong T-shirt (size XL); a bag of their signature Chicken Bones™ candy; a pair of Roman nougat bars; and two maple leaf lollipops. (Unfortunately, it’s too hot to ship their chocolates.)

For your chance to win the Christmas in July prize package, Debra and I want to know what you’re planning to craft for Christmas this year. Tell us about your Christmas crafting plans by leaving a comment below by midnight on Thursday, August 3, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, August 4.

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Christmas Topiaries, Craft Tutorial, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Road Trip Recap: A visit with designer Debra Quartermain and a stay at the Quartermain House B&B

I’m a fan of Debra Quartermain’s sweet, whimsical creations, and I bet you are, too. I first met Debra almost 20 years ago at a craft industry event. When the opportunity came up last month to travel to Fredericton, New Brunswick and visit with Debra, I was on it! You see, Debra is not only a recognized talent in the craft world, but she’s also the gracious hostess at the Quartermain House, an award-winning, five-star B&B in Fredericton. I thought I’d share a few glimpses today from my trip, and Debra’s magical world.

Quartermain House B&B

Award-winning Quartermain House B&B in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The Quartermain House is a preserved and pristeen, 1840s Gothic revival home, right along the Saint John River in Fredericton. Gleaming hardwood floors, gracious rooms and a lovely staircase are a tribute to earlier times. The home has an illustrious history and in 1870, it was the home of Thomas Harrison, the first University of New Brunswick president to be born in New Brunswick. Later, Premier and Lt. Governor John B. McNair also lived in the home.

Quartermain House B&B

The inviting foyer.

Quartermain House B&B

Debra attends to every detail at the B&B, like decorating the mantel in the parlor.

Quartermain House B&B

I found this wreath hanging in the parlor!

Even the gardens are a delight. It’s no wonder Debra hosts guests from around the world!

 Quartermain House B&B

A charming garden vignette!

The Quartermain House is a short, riverside walk from downtown Fredericton. Along the way is the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, which spans the Saint John River. From the bridge, you can see the city skyline, including the University of New Brunswick. Debra first arrived in Fredericton as a student at University of New Brunswick.

 Fredericton, New Brunswick

A view from the walking bridge.

University of New Brunswick

Debra first arrived in Fredericton to attend the University of New Brunswick.

Debra is a gracious and caring host, who makes sure every guest has an unforgettable stay. Debra also creates memorable weddings, tea parties, showers and holiday gatherings. At Christmas time, Debra decorates six Christmas trees. It’s no wonder that the Quartermain House B&B was ranked #1 in North America by Booking.com in 2014 and 2015, and consistently receives five-stars on TripAdvisor.com.

The accommodations are luxurious, and Debra’s three-course breakfasts are legendary. Once breakfast was over, Debra helped to plan our days, including a day-trip to the seaside town of St. Andrews. So charming!

Another day, Debra showed us the town, and we toured the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building, City Hall (do not miss the handwoven tapestries on the second floor!), and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The Legislative Assembly Building features a wood-framed, free-standing circular staircase built in the 1880s. It’s the only free-standing, circular staircase that you can climb in Canada.

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building

The only free-standing, circular staircase that you can climb in Canada.

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building

Me, my sister, and Debra on the gorgeous staircase.

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building

The New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building lit up at night to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

In addition to hosting guests, Debra continues to share her considerable talents in the design world. She’s the design lead and social media coordinator for Kunin Felt; she manages the design team for Expo International; she is the 2017 AFCI Designer Chair; and she publishes on her blog, too. Debra also creates some of the favorite projects here on Crafts ‘n Coffee.

Enormous DIY Felt Flowers

Debra made these enormous felt flowers to decorate the garden for a granddaughter’s birthday tea.

Now, where does the magic happen? If you think you don’t have the space to spread out and create, Debra’s studio will be an inspiration for you! Debra converted a small closet into her studio, and she will tell you that this miniature room is her favorite in the house!

Quartermain House B&B

Debra converted a small closet into her design studio.

Quartermain House B&B

Debra has used every inch of her studio, and maximized the storage space.

Quartermain House B&B

Debra’s sweet husband Russ even built custom shelving for behind the door.

There’s another magical spot in Debra’s B&B, but it’s only for her smallest guests, ie, her numerous grandchildren. Debra converted the attic into a gossamer pink play space for her “littles”, and I imagine there are many enchanted, fairy tales days up under the eaves. The boys have their own hideaway, too, but I didn’t get to see their cabin retreat.

Quartermain House B&B

The third-floor attic is a magical place!

Quartermain House B&B

Who wouldn’t want to curl up and read a book in this cozy nook?

While Debra and I visited, we brainstormed an idea, and we have some crafty fun planned for next week. Debra and members of the Expo International design team will share their Christmas projects Monday through Friday next week. I am so excited! Instead of just a Tinsel Tuesday, we’ll celebrate Christmas crafting all week long!

In the meantime, here are a few of Debra’s designs I’ve featured here on Crafts ‘n Coffee. Can you pick a favorite? I can’t!

Sweet Sock Snowman

DIY Sock Snowman

Sweet, Sock Snowman by Debra Quartermain

JOYful Snowman

JOYful Snowman

JOYful Snowman by Debra Quartermain

 Frosty Snowman Family

DIY felt, fleece snowman

Frosty Snowman Family by Debra Quartermain

Sledding Snow Bunnies

DIY Sledding Snowbunnies

Sledding Snow Bunnies by Debra Quartermain.

 Felted Snow Bunny

DIY needle felted Snow Bunny

Needle-Felted Snow Bunny by Debra Quartermain

And so many Penguins!  You’ll find several of Debra’s penguins in this post.

DIY felt & fleece penguins

Fishing Penguins by Debra Quartermain.

Debra has designed lots of bunnies, like this Mama & Baby Bunny.

DIY Needle-felted Bunnies

Mama & Baby Bunnies by Debra Quartermain.

Most recently, Debra shared her Cotton Candy Sock Bunny.

DIY Sock Bunny

Cotton Candy Sock Bunny by Debra Quartermain.

I can’t wait to see what the Expo International design team will share with us next week! See you on Tuesday.

Happy crafting!

P.S. Be sure to stop by Debra’s blog to say “hello.”

P.P.S. As if Debra’s story could get any sweeter — her great grandfather was the first professional confectioneer for Ganong in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Ganong is Canada’s oldest chocolate and candy company. Sounds like an opportunity for a giveaway, doesn’t it?? 😉

Ganong Chocolates in St. John, New Brunswick. CraftsnCoffee.com.

This yummy book is on display at the B&B.

Sharon

Posted in Road Trip Recap | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Tinsel Tuesday: How to DIY a Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath (and use up leftover yarn)

My daughter is a knitter, and we have lots of leftover yarn bits around the house. Now I know what to do with the leftover yarn – DIY a Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath! This Yarn Ball Wreath doesn’t have to be just for Christmas. It would be fun made up in a rainbow of bright colors, or a soothing palette of white and cream. Like the Ribbon Christmas Ornaments, this is a fun group craft, and if everyone contributes leftover yarn, you’ll soon have a colorful mosaic of Yarn Ball Wreaths.

DIY Yarn Ball Wreath

This is one cozy Christmas wreath!

To make a Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Balls: One dozen each 2″, 1-1/2″, and 1-1/4″; fifteen 1″
    • Wreath, 12″ x 2″
  • Assorted yarn in green, red and cream (or other colors of your choice)
  • Chenille stem
  • Optional embellishments: Knitting needles; stitch holder
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; straight pins; ruler; pencil

To make a Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath:

1. Pin and glue yarn end to a foam ball, and wrap yarn around the ball till the ball is covered. Cut off yarn, and glue end to the yarn ball. Repeat, till all of the balls are wrapped in yarn.

2. Arrange yarn balls around the wreath, mixing up sizes and colors. When you’re pleased with the arrangement, use the low-temp glue gun to glue the balls in place.

3. Optional: Decorate your wreath with a short length of knitting, knitting needles and a stitch holder. (Hint: If you’d like to change the color of the knitting needles or stitch holder, spray paint them in your chosen color before adding them to the wreath).

4. Cut chenille stem in half. Twist together the ends on each half to form two hanging loops. Insert and glue the loops in the back of the wreath, spaced several inches apart.

DIY Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath

What colors would you use for a Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath?

Have you made a Yarn Ball Wreath? I like crafting with yarn and I’ve made a few other Christmas wreaths with yarn, but I’ve not (yet) made this one . . .

P.S. I have a very special Road Trip Recap planned for Friday. You won’t want to miss it! See you then!

Happy crafting!

Sharon  

Posted in Christmas Wreaths, Craft Tutorial, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

How to make a Faux Concrete & Succulent Wreath

Fresh, modern concrete home décor is all the rage, but I’d never mess around with the real thing and mix up my own concrete. I wish I was that adventurous, but I’m not. However, you might remember how I fell in love with the faux concrete finish from Plaid, and it’s opened up a world of concrete design ideas (a pun!). Like this DIY, Faux Concrete & Succulent Wreath. It looks so real, yet it’s super lightweight, easy to make and even easier to hang – no reinforcement needed. The succulents are faux, so it’s easy care, too. (This Faux Concrete & Succulent Wreath was also featured in the summer issue—and last issue, sniff, of Craft Ideas magazine.)

DIY modern, Faux Concrete Wreath

Doesn’t it look like real concrete?

To make a Faux Concrete & Succulent Wreath, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 12” x 2” wreath; scrap piece
  • Plaid Folk Art Painted Finishes in concrete
  • Painter’s tape
  • Acrylic craft paint in bright pink (or other accent color)
  • Faux air plants, 2
  • Faux succulents, 5 – 6
  • Chenille stem
  • Mod Podge
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Stiff paintbrush; knippers

To make a Faux Concrete & Succulent Wreath:

1. Apply a generous coat of Mod Podge to wreath and let dry.

2. Mask off with painter’s tape a portion of the wreath that will be painted bright pink.

3. Following directions on packaging, paint wreath with Painted Finishes base coat. While still wet, dab on top coat and blend into base coat. Let dry.

DIY Modern, Faux Concrete Wreath

Mask off the area for color blocking (left). Paint on the concrete finish and when dry, remove the tape. Paint on the accent color.

4. Remove painter’s tape, and paint unmasked area bright pink.

5. Arrange air plants and succulents on wreath. When pleased with arrangement, place glue on stems, and insert them into wreath. If needed, trim stems to fit. (Hint: Arrange the succulents and air plants in a scrap piece of STYROFOAM Brand Foam first. This way you can easily see how they will look and rearrange them without marring the finish on the wreath.)

6. Twist together ends of a 4” length of chenille stem, forming a loop. Insert and glue the loop into the back of the wreath to use as a hanger.

DIY Modern, faux concrete wreath

The succulents are faux, so no watering required!

If you like the look of concrete but you’re like me, and afraid to try the real thing, you have to check out this paint finish. You’ll love it! These Faux Concrete Eggs are the first project I made with the faux finish.

DIY modernFaux Concrete Eggs

The color blocking is optional.

I painted an extra egg and made this Faux Concrete Succulent Planter.

DIY modern Faux Concrete Succulent Planter

Making this faux, concrete planter is easy, and the faux succulents are easy-care, too.

I’ve not partnered with Plaid for this post. I just love that this product is so quick and easy to use, and a great shortcut to achieving a concrete-like finish, without a lot of time and mess.

Have you tackled mixing up a batch of real concrete and making something with it? Or are you like me, and you’d rather brush on a concrete finish paint?

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Flower Designs, Home Decor, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Tinsel Tuesday: DIY a cozy, Felt Leaf Christmas Cone

Can you ever have too many tabletop Christmas trees? Sweet little cones to tuck in here and there, display in a corner, showcase on a tabletop, or wherever you need a little holiday cheer? No, I didn’t think so! So, here’s another one for your collection – a DIY Felt Leaf Christmas Cone. I thought I’d share this one now, because cutting out the felt leaves could seem daunting during the Christmas season. Summertime is the time to make this Felt Leaf Christmas Cone, and in a few months, you’ll love how it looks in its special little nook.

DIY rustic felt Christmas cones

DIY rustic felt Christmas cones

Where would you display these cozy little cones?

To make a Felt Leaf Christmas Cone, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 9” cone (or other size of your choice)
  • Felt, ¼ yd., in cream or other color of your choice
  • Birch round, 3” – 4” dia.
  • Twigs, eight
  • Stick, ½” dia.
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; knippers; serrated knife

To make a Felt Leaf Christmas Cone:

1. Glue a 1” x 12” felt strip around the bottom edge of the cone of STYROFOAM Brand Foam.

2. Using pattern, cut out approximately 170 felt leaves.

3. Starting along the bottom edge of the cone, glue on a row of leaves, slightly overlapping each leaf by about 1/8”. Each leaf should point down, with the curved end up.

DIY rustic felt Christmas tree cones

On each new row, position the point on each leaf so it is between the two leaves below.

4. Add a second row of leaves, and position each leaf so the point is between the two leaves in the first row. Repeat, adding rows of leaves around the cone till the cone is covered.

5. Assemble the star:

  • For each star, you’ll need: Seven, 1″ twigs; a 3″ twig; and two, ½” circles of cream felt.
  • Place a generous dot of glue on one felt circle.
  • Place the ends of the twigs so that they are touching each other at the center of the circle, and position the 3” twig at the bottom.
  • Glue a second felt circle on top.
  • Let glue dry.

6. Cut a 3″ x ½” diameter stick for the tree trunk. Be sure that one end is perfectly straight across so that the tree will stand straight.

7. Glue the straight end of the stick to the center of the birch round. Double check that the trunk is straight before the glue dries.

8. Assemble the tree:

  • Using the point of a serrated knife, carve out a small, ½” x ½” hole in the bottom center of the cone.
  • Add glue to the hole in the bottom of the cone, and insert the trunk.
  • Check to be sure the tree stands straight, and adjust if needed.
  • Add a dab of glue at top of cone, and insert the 3” end of the twig star into the cone.
DIY rustic felt Christmas Cones

The twig stars and birch bark bases add a rustic touch.

If you’d like to add a few more tabletop trees to your collection, check out these Scalloped Felt Christmas Cones.

DIY Scalloped Felt Christmas Cones

Scalloped Felt Christmas Cones

For a completely different look, fashion your felt and lace trims into a trio of Vintage Felt & Lace Christmas Trees. There are so many ways to personalize these pretty cones.

DIY Vintage Style Christmas Cones

Vintage Felt & Lace Christmas Tree

What’s in your collection of tabletop trees?

Happy crafting!

Sharon

 

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Christmas Topiaries, Craft Tutorial, Fabric Craft, Home Decor, Topiaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Craft for kids: DIY a Faux Foam Cactus

I have a Barrel cactus in my kitchen window, and does that little plant have big spikes! Ouch! If you’re looking for a fun – and painless, craft for the kids this summer, today I’m sharing a kinder, gentler, DIY Faux Foam Cactus by Linda Valentino. There’s nothing hard about making this Faux Cactus, which is topped with fanciful, felt flowers. If you’re looking for an educational craft for the classroom or scout troop, this is a good addition to a unit all about the southwest and desert life.

DIY faux foam cactus

Faux Foam Cactus by Linda Valentino.

To make a Faux, Foam Cactus, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 2” and 3” balls, one each
  • Clay pot, 3 ½” dia.
  • Felt scraps in yellow
  • Pearl head pins in white, size 17, four dozen
  • Acrylic craft paints: Green, dark green, dark red, terra cotta
  • Spanish moss
  • Jumbo rick rack in turquoise, 12”
  • Rocks, three – four
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; ruler; stiff bristle paintbrush; toothpicks; pencil; wood skewer

To make a Faux, Foam Cactus:

1. Insert a wood skewer into the 3” foam ball. Use the skewer as a handle, and paint the 3” foam ball green. Let paint dry. Paint 12 dark green stripes down the ball, about ½” apart. Let dry.

2. Place a pencil along a dark green stripe, and rock the pencil back & forth down the length of the ball, making an indent. Repeat, making an indented line along each dark green stripe.

3. Cut three, 2” circles from yellow felt. Push a pencil point into the top of cactus, making a small hole. Squeeze a few drops of glue into the hole. Using a wood skewer, push the center of a felt circle into the hole. Repeat, inserting two more felt circles into the hole.

4. Paint the pot terra cotta, and the rim dark red. Let dry, and then glue rick rack around the rim. Glue the 2” foam ball into the pot.

5. Break two toothpicks in half. Dip ends in glue and insert the four halves into bottom of cactus. Add glue to the other ends of toothpicks and push into the 2” ball. Place moss around the cactus and add a few rocks, too.

6. Dip tips of four, pearl head pins into glue, and insert into a raised stripe on the cactus. Repeat, adding four pins down the length of each raised stripe.

DIY Faux Foam Cactus

Pair this Faux Foam Cactus with a unit on the southwest and desert life.

For children a little older, you can pair the Faux Foam Cactus with the Southwest Adobe House.

DIY southwest adobe house

Southwest Adobe House

I hope you had a beautiful July 4th! Now, as we head into the second half of the summer, how are your kids keeping busy this summer? Are they crafting? Tell me what they’re making!

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Kid's Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

DIY party decorations with colorful confetti!

The party theme continues from last week (don’t miss Patty Schaffer’s cutest-ever Cupcake Birthday Card) and we’re making colorful, confetti party decorations. Once you hang up this Confetti Wreath and display the Confetti Cones, you are ready to party! These are easy party decorations to DIY, so give them a try! (I’m honored that these party crafts first appeared in the summer issue of Craft Ideas magazine – more on that later.)

DIY easy party decorations

 DIY Confetti Wreath

You can make the wreath and the cones in an evening.

DIY confetti party decorations

Make it a family tradition and display the confetti decor for each family member’s birthday.

To make the Confetti Wreath and Confetti Cones, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Cones, 12” x 4” and 9” x 4”
    • Wreath, 12” x 2”
  • Glittered balls, 1-1/2” dia., two pink and one purple
  • Multicolor, Mexican Confetti*
  • Ultra-fine, iridescent glitter
  • Purchased bow
  • Chenille stem
  • Mod Podge
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Old newspaper; wax paper; stiff bristle paintbrush; wooden skewer or chopstick.

*I purchased a 12-ouce bag of multicolor, Mexican Confetti on Amazon (free shipping!) and have more than ½ bag leftover.

To make the Confetti Wreath:

DIY Confetti Wreath

Be sure to cover your work area first, for easier clean up.

1. Brush Mod Podge onto the inside edge of the wreath, and sprinkle with confetti. In bare areas, pat down confetti, and sprinkle again.

2. Brush Mod Podge onto the outside edge of the wreath, and following Step 1, sprinkle with confetti.

DIY Confetti Wreath

Cover the inner and outer edges first, and then cover the front with confetti.

3. Brush Mod Podge on the front of the wreath, and sprinkle with confetti. If you see any bare areas, add more confetti.

4. Lightly sprinkle all over with iridescent glitter.

5. When dry, glue bow to the center of the wreath. Glue glittered ball to the center of the bow.

6. Twist together ends of a 4” length of chenille stem, forming a loop. Insert and glue the loop into the back of the wreath to use as a hanger.

DIY confetti party wreath

To make the Confetti Cones:

1. Insert a wood skewer or chopstick into the bottom of a cone of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to use as a handle.

2. Brush Mod Podge onto the cone, and while wet, sprinkle cone with confetti. Pat down confetti, and sprinkle more onto the cone. Lightly sprinkle with iridescent glitter. When cone is covered, carefully remove the handle, and place cone on a piece of wax paper to dry.

3. Repeat with second cone.

4. When dry, glue glittered balls to the top of each cone.

DIY Confetti Cones

DIY Confetti Party Ideas

You’ll have leftover confetti — use it fill clear balloons!

On another note, it’s not all about celebrating today. I was dismayed to learn that the summer issue of Craft Ideas would be the last one. Through the years, I’ve worked with many talented, creative and inspiring editors at Craft Ideas (and back when it was Crafts ‘n things and Pack-‘o-Fun magazines, too). I’m saddened to see the magazine disappear and these hardworking editors move on to new opportunities. I wish them well!

I with you a wonderful holiday weekend and very happy July 4th. My Tuesday post falls on July 4th, so I won’t see you again until next Friday. Enjoy the parades, parties and cook outs, and the friends and family you share it with. And do tell me if you’ve crafted up anything patriotic for your festivities.

Happy crafting!

Sharon  

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Entertaining, Topiaries, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments