November Means the Holidays Are Here! And New Christmassy Things in the Shop.

The beginning of November is always the most exciting time for me because it means pulling out my Christmas decor and spicing things up for the holidays. I LOVE the holiday season, and I love making everything in my house festive and cheerful. This November is even more special for me because in a few short weeks my wee babe should be making his appearance in our lives, and I can’t wait to bring him home to a beautifully decorated house.

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This year I’ve got a whole new collection of Christmassy items in the shop. Christmas decor and ornaments are probably my favorite things ever to make. Christmas is such a happy time of year, and I love the possibility of helping people achieve that with handmade decor!

For this season, I have created a new line of book-inspired Christmas ornaments, because books are ❤ and deserve a special spot on your tree. Right now, I’ve got a number of titles including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Macbeth by William Shakespeare, among many others. I will keep adding more as I make them, and I’m thinking about giving them a permanent, year-round spot in the shop. These ornaments compliment my classic book cover tapestries.

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I’m also really excited to be offering fully customizable Christmas stockings, complete with a pocket displaying a hand-painted shelf of your favorite books. Obviously, books are a big part of my life and I love including them in my Christmas festivities. I made a stocking for my husband, one for myself, and one for the baby – who doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ll be adding on his name after he’s born!

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I hope the beginning of your holiday season is amazing, and please consider shopping small this Christmas! Etsy is a great resource for any number of handmade goods, and supporting small businesses is what makes our world go round. Remember to order your handmade decor and gifts far in advanced so they ship to you in time!

DIY Rustic Cinnamon Stick Ornaments

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Part two of my tree decorating frenzy included making rustic ornaments made from cinnamon sticks. I’ve got two different tutorials here for you today, each super easy and super cute.

DSCN8644For both tutorials, this is what you’ll need:

  • craft cinnamon sticks
  • twine
  • hot glue gun and sticks
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • glitter (whichever color will match your tree)
  • mod podge

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First, for the star ornaments. Really the only thing tricky about this one is figuring out which way to lay out the sticks so they don’t look awkward and misshapen as a star. Take five cinnamon sticks and lay them into a star pattern, putting a dab of hot glue on the tips of the sticks where two will meet.

Hopefully my pictures will help you figure it out.

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Voila! Now tie some string around the top of your star for hanging it on the tree.

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The next step is glitter-ifying it. Cover the entire front surface of your star with a thin layer of mod podge. Then, simply sprinkle with glitter. I chose a light, shimmery glitter for these ones – understated but glorious!

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My second rustic ornament tutorial is this glitter tipped bundle of sticks. You need the same materials.

Choose about five or six cinnamon sticks. Place them on top of a piece of twine approximately four or five inches long. Tie the twine tight and finish it off in a bow.

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Now, place a piece of masking tape around the tip the bundle where you’d like your glitter to be.

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Cover it in mod podge and dip it in the glitter of your choice. I chose gold for this one.  Let dry completely before removing the masking tape.

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These ornaments could also be made with twigs from your backyard if you’re feeling extra rustic. I happened to have two bags of cinnamon sticks lying around, so that’s what I chose for my tree. It also helps that they smell cinnamony and sweet! This simple tutorial would be a great idea for a family activity if you have kids. 🙂

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DIY Everlasting Snowflake Ornaments

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Even after a few years in the north, it still seems awkward to have snow before Christmas. Well honestly, having snow at all is a bit awkward, but growing up in Texas I craved snow on Christmas Eve and Day – I wanted nothing to do with snow before or after, but it was just a very Christmassy thing. I think I’ll always be a Texan at heart. (Though the snow is growing on me a little bit.)

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Wyoming has now had its second snow storm and the past few days have been bitterly cold. After a rather mild fall, I have had to succumb to the realization that winter has truly arrived (negative temperatures outside leave no room for error), but this has merely kicked my Christmas decorating into high gear.

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These are all deer tracks…in my backyard.
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I actually startled these two, who started running as soon as they noticed me stomping through the snow.

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Since we have snow outside, it’s always nice to bring a little inside as well. No, not the wet, melty kind, but the kind that simply hang on your tree or wall and look beautiful. I have always LOVED making paper snowflakes – I think they are one of the most simple and beautiful winter DIYs in existence. A few years ago I learned how to make a six-point snowflake (rather than the four or eight-point snowflakes you learn how to make in elementary school) and I have never gone back.

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Of course, paper is not the best material for long-lasting decor. It shreds, disintegrates with a drop of water, and crumples. To truly immortalize my lovely six-point snowflakes, I came up with a fool-proof plan, and now I can hang them on my tree for a chic, rustic look without worrying about them falling apart before the season is over.

Here is how I did it:

You’ll need

  • plain printer paper, cut into a square
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun and sticks
  • shimmer spray (optional but oh-so-pretty)

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First, fold your square paper in half at the corners.

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Now fold this in half at the bottom corners so that you have a right triangle.

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Next, fold your two outer corners in so that they are equally shaped. It should look like this.

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Cut the top off in a diagonal.

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Now begin cutting out your shapes.

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Open it up and you have a lovely snowflake!

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Now for the fun part. Choose a side to be your front and hot glue every inch of paper. This makes the snowflake durable, bendable, and perfect for sticking on your tree, no string required.

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Lastly, spray your beautiful snowflake with shimmer spray after the glue has completely dried.

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It may take a few snowflakes for you to get the hang of the pattern cutting. My first one of the season always looks a little janky, but the more you cut, the more comfortable your hands get. Each snowflake comes out more beautiful than the one before it, I swear. If you want a variety of sizes, simply start with a full sized sheet of printer paper (cut down to a square) and use the leftover paper to make smaller ones. The small ones are more difficult to cut, but are very cute!

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And that’s all it takes. There are really lots of things you can do with these everlasting snowflakes. Last year I made a “quilt” out of them. You could also make them into a bunting or put them in frames and hang them up for a wintery gallery wall.

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