DIY Winter Snowflake Ornaments


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This week my children’s school held bake sales and homemade ornament sales to raise money for a school in Houston whose families have suffered tremendous loss from the hurricane. My kids were thrilled to participate, and wanted to make as many ornaments as they could to raise as they said, “a ton of money.” While they made DIY marbled clay snowflake ornaments of their own, I made a couple, too. It’s a super simple craft for kids and adults of all ages, which is why I’m sharing it with you today. Plus, this is a wonderful gift to encourage the kids to give their family and friends.

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Lay down parchment paper, and roll balls of clay with the various colors.

Step 2: Combine colors, and then twist and turn to blend the colors together for that marbled effect. With a rolling-pin, roll it out so it’s about 1/4 inch thick.

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Step 3: Press the cookie cutters into the clay, both the large snowflake and the small one. Remove excess clay around the cutter.

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Step 5: With a small straw (like the ones used in coffee shops), punch a small hole through the top of the ornament.

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Step 6: Bake on parchment paper according to clay package directions.

Step 7: Add a wallet size photo with glue dots on the back of the ornament, string and hang it.

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diy-marbled-clay-ornaments-with-photos-for-kids

Cheers To A DIY Christmas Stocking With A Wine Spout

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‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gift-giving and all things merry and jolly! We pour more wine around the holidays with all the parties, dinners and let’s face it, stress. So, wine was on our minds when we crafted our next DIY Christmas gift idea.

For this DIY, we’re changing the classic line from the Twas the Night Before Christmas poem that reads, “…the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there,” to instead say, “…the stocking were hung by the bar with care, in hopes that friends and family soon would be there.” Yes, we’re hanging our families stockings in the living room like we always do for Santa, but we’re hanging a few extra in the bar this Christmas, and giving them to friends to spread good cheer. Christmas is all about making spirits bright, right?

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This DIY wine stocking makes for the perfect gift for friends, neighbors and family. Plus, it’s a really fun topic of conversation whether you’re at a party, or having a quiet night in with the girls.

Anyone and everyone can (and should) make these DIY Christmas stockings. Here’s how we made the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Materials:

  • Stockings, .98 cents at Wal-Mart, or other great options at big name retailers
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Boxed wine (we used Bota Box)
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun

Directions:

Step 1: First, we upgraded the stockings with about a $3 plaid fabric investment. We didn’t use a needle and thread – just scissors and a hot glue gun. Before the plaid, there was a thick strip of white felt.

red-and-plaid-stockings-with-funny-lines-diy-boxed-wine-stocking-holder

Step 2: Cut out letters for the fun quotes. We went with, Drink Up Grinches, Santa’s Helper, He Sees You When Your Drinking and Dreaming of a White Christmas. We had black letter stickers and just traced as we cut with the scissors. You can freehand the letters though, maybe even using good vinyl stickers to save yourself cutting time all together.

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Step 3: With a hot glue gun, glue the letters to the stocking.

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Step 4: Cut out a small hole in the front toe part of the stocking. If it’s too big, you can always hot glue the fabric tight around the wine pull tab.

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Step 5: Insert the wine bag in the stocking and pull the wine tab through the hole in the toe.

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Step 6: Hang and pour. Cheers!

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DIY Halloween Lanterns with Spooky Silhouettes

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For us, Halloween is all about fun costumes (we spent our entire childhood dressed alike on Halloween night, and now we do the same with our kids), our mom’s homemade carmel popcorn, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating and celebrating the holiday with our large Italian family. We don’t get into the scary stuff, horror movies or anything remotely gory. So, our Halloween decor can be a bit of a snooze for those who go all out for the Oct. 31st holiday. Pumpkins, Happy Halloween signs and a few spiders is just about all we have in our Halloween decor collection. It lacks a scare factor, which is ok with us (and our kids), but we stepped up our decor game a bit this year thanks to Oriental Trading Company.

We’re lighting up the night with DIY Halloween silhouette lanterns. We stuck with Jenna’s favorite colors, classic black and white. All the other Halloween”classics” are there, too, including bats, skeletons and crows. We never have, and never will like spiders. But, we love their silhouette in our DIY lanterns.

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This DIY lantern is so easy. Halloween will be here before you know it, but everything we made and set-up can be bought in one place, Oriental Trading, and crafted in less than half a day. Plus, you can re-use it year after year. Silhouettes never go out of style. We love, love the black and white table runner. It can be out year-round, and we were impressed with its thick, durable and quality fabric.

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Here’s how you can light up the night, too.

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Paint the frames black.

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Step 2: While the paint is drying, trace the glass or the wood backing of the frame onto the vellum. Cut the vellum rectangles.

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Step 3: Cut the silhouettes. They have a thin border, so it’s best they are cut for a clean silhouette. Some of them are too large for the frames, so they need to be trimmed, or pieces of the silhouettes need to be used. For example, instead of using the entire candelabra, we just cut each individual candle. For extra stick, add glue to the back of the stickers before pressing them into the center of the vellum rectangles.

silhouette-black-halloween-stickers-and-scissors

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Step 4: Once the frames are dry, flip them over and use a hot glue gun (or Elmer’s glue) to glue the vellum along the inner frame.

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Step 5: Now it’s time to glue the frames together to make lanterns. We made some 3-sided lanterns, and one 4-sided lantern. To do this, patiently hold it up to have an idea of where the glue will need to go, and begin to glue side by side. You will need to hold the frames in place for a couple of minutes, then the glue holds it until it fully dries. If you don’t have patience for this, hot glue will work just fine. After the glue has dried, touch up the sides with black paint to cover up any glue.

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Step 6: Once the lanterns are dry, set them up with lights in the middle. Once the sun goes down, light them up. For a complete “look”, don’t forget the black and white runner, pumpkins, skeletons, spider web fans and crows.

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Oriental Trading sent us some items of our choosing for this post, free of charge. We’re so happy they did! All opinions are honest, and our own. No other type of compensation was received. Thanks for supporting the companies that support j. sorelle. We love Oriental Trading, even before this post. 

DIY Modern Fall Wreath

diy-fall-wreath-with-copper-ring-and-peony

As much as we tried to keep summer around as long as we could, it came and went. There’s no denying it’s fall. With some recent snowfall, it feels a lot like winter. When the air gets cold, and the leaves change color, we throw on the scarves, bust out the pumpkins and drink a lot more tea.

After a recent trip to Michael’s, Jessica was inspired to make a DIY fall wreath for her front door. It’s outside the traditional “orange fall” box for her. Though we love orange, there is no orange color on this wreath. It’s modern, and pretty. Here’s how she did it in less than 30 minutes (once the paint on the ring dried).

Materials:

  • Wire ring, 18″
  • Copper spray paint
  • Faux greenery, including lamb’s ear, eucalyptus, a fall-tone peony and burgundy leaves
  • Mini pumpkins, Pier 1
  • Copper floral wire
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue

Directions:

Step 1: Spray paint the ring copper.

Step 2: Cut stems from the faux greenery, and once the ring is dry begin to lay out the greenery along the ring. I wanted everything slightly off-center on the lower right corner.

faux-greenery-and-copper-wire-with-burgundy-leaves

Step 3: Hold stems on the ring and wrap with a 3-4 inch long piece of copper wire. Wrap it until it’s tight on the ring wreath. As you add stems, try to cover the copper wire.

copper-wire-for-a-faux-greenery-wreath

Step 4: Leave a small space in the center for the flower and pumpkin. Use hot glue to glue the flower.

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diy-fall-wreath-with-copper-ring-and-peony-on-a-copper-modern-wreath

Step 5: Drill two small holes on the bottom of the pumpkin at an angle where you can insert the copper wire through one hole, and push it out through the other hole. Once the wire is in, set on the copper wreath and wrap the wire around the wreath.

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Step 6: If you need to hide the copper wire, glue leaves and stems here and there. Then, just hang.

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diy-modern-fall-wreath-with-copper-ring-and-peony

Light, Love & Paper at a Zen-Worthy Ladies Night

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Life is beautiful. We are truly blessed in this life. But, just like everyone, our stress levels rise, the to-do lists get longer, worries can be all-consuming and we are over-committed. To stay grounded (and sane), we have to find ways to bring peace into our lives. We often take refuge in family and friends who lift us up. We take breaks. We let in some of the love we deserve, but often neglect to receive. We have a cocktail. We have meltdowns. We put on yoga pants and watch the same movies we’ve seen a hundred times before. We pray. We take deep breaths. We party. We try to live with intention and grateful hearts.

A good reminder of our intentions, and the positive energy we need on a daily basis are the Mala beads we wear on our wrists. The string of beads used in prayer and meditation were first introduced to us several years ago after a stop in Tibet Imports in Denver, CO. A sweet woman, Sarita, gave us a Vedic Astrology reading, and we bought our first Mala prayer beads.

After receiving many compliments on our bracelets, we wanted to share that beauty and healing with others. What better way to celebrate all that good energy and fabulous piece of jewelry than with family? Not just any family – 16 strong women from our large Italian family. So, together at Jenna’s beautiful newly renovated home, we made Mala bracelets, listened to individual Vedic Astrology readings with Sarita and Suderson, sang, ate and drank our way into the night.

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Our goal was to make the space safe, pretty and full of love and light. It was a good vibes only zone. ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers helped us brighten the evening with all the colors of the rainbow, just like the seven Chakras, which are energy centers of the body known in Indian religions, often associated with vibrant colors.

mala-bead-making-party

Here’s fun ways on how we got our Mala on. We highly recommend it for your next girls night!

DIY Lotus Flower Art
We can’t believe this unique piece of art is made with paper. These DIY lotus flowers are dimensional, bright and one-of-a-kind. Lotus flower are known to grow from the bottom of streams and muddy ponds, and rise above the water and bloom. We chose this symbol to hang at our party because of it’s symbolic nature of spiritual growth and the ability to rise above obstacles.

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Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Print a photo of the lotus flower, tape it to the foam core, and use an X-acto knife to cut around all the edges of the flower. Be sure to only cut half-way through the foam core, not entirely through it.

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Step 2: Next, cut 1-inch thick strips of paper. We used Sunburst Yellow™Cosmic Orange™., Rocket Red™, Blast-Off Blue™Celestial Blue®Lunar Blue™Terra Green™ and Martian Green™ for our lotus flowers.

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Step 3: Insert the paper strips into the tiny slits you made in the foam core. You will have to cut the paper to fit each slit. We inserted the paper in the slit, and then cut it at the end of the slit. We did not cut and measure each one individually before inserting it. Once we put paper in all the slits, we cut paper with a scallop effect, and glued it around the edges for a lovely frame.

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For the framed word art, we cut powerful words, glued them to foam core and framed them the same way as the lotus flower. These are all beautiful (and totally affordable) pieces of art that you can do for any party (or just everyday décor).

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Bar Sign & Wall Decor
We’ve seen the Namaste play on words, such as Namast’ay in bed and Namast’ay a while, so we made our own sign with letters. The words read Namast’ay & Drink. It was placed strategically above the “bar.” This is as easy as printing and cutting letters. You can string the letters on twine, or hang them like we did with wall putty.

namastay-and-drink

Vedic Astrology is rooted in a birth chart, the planets, stars and their patterns. We made a string of 3-D stars, circles and moons to hang at the party. We used a variety of colors on this banner, including Eclipse Black™, Pulsar Pink™, Sunburst Yellow™, Fireball Fuchsia™, Celestial Blue®, Martian Green™, Stardust White™ and Outrageous Orchid™. To make these shapes, cut circles and stars, fold them in half and glue them along a piece of twine, also gluing all the sides of the shapes together. For each 3D shape, you will need four parts, or shapes. For example, you will need 4 circles to make one 3D circle or ball.

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paper-moon-circles-and-stars

Elephants are a sacred symbol in Buddhist and Hindu religions, so we knew we wanted to incorporate them somehow. We traced and cut an elephant shape, and then used our Silhouette electronic cutting machine to cut intricate designs on another piece of color paper. We glued them together, and hung them from a long piece of embroidery string. If you don’t have a Silhouette, you can draw designs on the elephant, or even find a photo online with designs already on the elephant. The colors we used for the elephant are Pulsar Pink™, Terrestrial Teal™, Outrageous Orchid™, Fireball Fuchsia™ and Blast-Off Blue™.

bright-and-colorful-paper-elephants

DIY Lanterns
Jenna has a stunning chandelier hanging from her ceiling, so we couldn’t compete with that. But, we tried to add a an element from Sarita’s shop to help her feel right at home. That element was DIY Tibetan lanterns. We made DIY paper lanterns with traditional Buddhist symbols printed on them, including the Om symbol and the Hamsa Hand. Although they are traditionally handmade from lokta paper or cotton, the Astrobrights worked great!

blue-om-paper-chandelier

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Find images of traditional Buddhism or Hindu symbols online. Copy and paste into Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Resize image in Word, and then print in the center of four pieces of paper.

Step 3: Fold the bottom ½ inch and the side 1 inch. You want the fold to be on the backside of the image.

folded-blue-paper

Step 4: Use a needle to prick holes every inch from the top to the bottom on the side of each paper through the fold. Repeat on all the sides of each sheet of paper (not the top and bottom edges).

Step 5: Tie a know at the end of a piece of string, and insert it from the back of one piece of paper, through the fold to the front, and then into one hold on another piece of paper. Essentially, you are “sewing” the sides of the lantern together. A cross-pattern worked best for us, but you can do whatever is easiest here. They just have to be attached to one another. We have NO sewing skills whatever, it’s just a pattern of going in through one hole and then up through another.

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Step 6: Once all the sides are sewn together, add 4 equal pieces of string to the top of each lantern (either glue the string or attach it to the existing string) to hang it from the ceiling. For extra flair, add little tassels to the bottom of each corner of the lantern. Command hooks worked great to hang the lanterns. For this DIY, we used Sunburst Yellow™, Terra Green™  and Celestial Blue®.

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As we face our busy days, our malas will serve as a reminder to bring a little love and light to everything we do. And, we will certainly remember this special night with family where we shared our stories, and laughed our way through bead making.

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This post is in partnership with Astrobrights Papers. We were crafting with Astrobrights Papers paper long before this post. It’s always been a fave product of ours. Thank you for supporting the brands that support j. sorelle. Astrobrights was one of the first, so we are very grateful.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means j. sorelle receives a small commission from the sale of certain items; however, the price is the same for you, whether it’s an affiliate link or not.