Friday, November 21, 2014

Elf on the Shelf Advent

This post is sponsored by Michaels Recollections.

Elf on the Shelf Advent with Free Printable Clues at artsyfartsymama.com #MichaelsChristmas

We love our Elf on the Shelf that comes to visit every year! In the past, I've arranged the elf to be doing funny (not naughty) things around the house and love watching my daughter's reaction when she wakes up to see what he's up to each day. This year, I'm planning on doing something a little different. Each morning, the elf will be in a different place, but will be holding a clue to find a small, simple gift each day, counting down to Christmas day!!

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com #MichaelsChristmas

All the supplies are Recollections Holiday products. They are found at Michaels, in the paper crafting section (on the aisle end-caps). There are so many products to choose from, including kits and all kinds of embellishments. The paper milk cartons were the first thing that caught my eye. There are 24 in each package, so I immediately knew they would make perfect elf gift boxes. I also purchased bag and card kits, straws with tags, and clothespins to embellish the cartons.

Tip: Even though all the products are already at great prices, I highly recommend watching for sales and use coupons to save even more!

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com

The paper milk cartons come unassembled, which makes them much easier to embellish! I started by taking snowflake stamps and red ink pads from the bag and card kits and laying out the cartons.

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com

Stamp all over the paper using both stamps. I love how the red ink looks on top of the red paper! You can stamp and assemble the cartons as you go, but I found it much easier to stamp all the boxes first, then assemble next. It also gives the ink some time to dry so you'll be less likely to smear the stamps and get ink all over your hands.

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com

There are instructions on the packaging to fold the boxes. They were surprisingly easy, and it helps that there are already sticky tabs on the box so you can peel and stick as you go! One half of the carton top stays open and the other has a sticky tab to keep it together. Since I haven't filled mine yet, I'm keeping them closed with the cute, coordinating holiday clothespins!

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com

Next, I cut a one inch strip from a 12x12 sheet of adhesive-backed cardstock. Regular cardstock would also work great, but I must admit that using the adhesive-backed cardstock makes things a little easier. It sticks easily and you don't have to get the glue out!

As you can see, the carton measures just a little over 12 inches, so the paper ends don't meet exactly. I fixed the problem by sticking one end near the center of the "front", and carefully wrapping it around the carton and getting the other end as close as possible.

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com

To cover the gap, I used one of the stickers from the package of straws! The labels have a strip of adhesive, so just peel off the backing and stick it on the carton! Super easy and it looks adorable.

Elf on the Shelf Advent at artsyfartsymama.com #MichaelsChristmas

Repeat until you have all 24 cartons put together. Now you can fill them with whatever you like! I think we're going to put in some treats, and maybe throw a piece of paper in a few cartons with some kind of Christmas activity so it gives my daughter something different to do to get excited about Christmas than just eat candy.

Elf on the Shelf Advent with Free Printable Clues at artsyfartsymama.com #MichaelsChristmas

For this to work, you'll need to print out the Elf on the Shelf Printable Advent Clues so that your elf (or whatever you choose to use) can hold the clue each morning. There are ten cards that specifically count down to Christmas day, but the other 14 cards can be mixed up to be used any day you want. They all say where to hide the gift, so that makes your job MUCH easier!!

Don't do Elf on the Shelf? You can still do this activity with your kids as a fun way to count down to the big day and add things in the boxes to celebrate however works for you!!


Some things you should know before downloading:
*Artsy-Fartsy Mama printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY.
*You may NOT modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
*Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.
*If you post this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to my site.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

Welcome to Artsy-Fartsy Link Party! The name has changed, but the party is still the same!!

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you had a great week and are ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always blown away by the projects and recipes shared and am looking forward to reading all your new posts that you link up. Thanks to all those who linked up last party. There were so many fun posts to look through, and you make it hard for me to narrow down some to feature!!

READ MORE TO JOIN THE PARTY!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Sequin Tree

Sponsored by FloraCraft Make It: Fun®

DIY Sequin Tree and Glitter Ribbon Tree Tutorials at artsyfartsymama.com

Creating Christmas decorations is probably one of my favorite things. It's always so colorful, fun, and of course, includes sparkle in one way or another. This month's Make It: Fun® Team theme is foam cones, so I decided to create a DIY Sequin Tree that is super simple for anyone to make!

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

What you'll need to create your own DIY Sequin Tree:
Floracraft® Make It: Fun® Foam Cone (I used a 6 inch, but you can create trees in 3", 6", 9", 12", 15", 18", and even 24")
Sequins (any color)
Satin Pins 
Birch Candlesticks or Napkin Rings
Felt (in color to match sequins)
Hot Glue

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

Before assembling the tree, get comfortable and get Netflix (or other preferred TV or movie watching contraption) ready. The tree is seriously quite easy to put together, but it is a little time consuming.

Pour out some sequins on your table or into a cup. Place a pin through the hole of a sequin and stick it into the tree. I decided to start around the top edge, but you can really start anywhere you'd like. In my personal opinion though, I think either the top or bottom edge would be easiest. Then, add the next pin & sequin right next to the sequin, barely overlapping the edge. Overlapping will help you be able to hide the foam underneath and you can skip painting it or trying to cover it another way.

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

Now for some craft fail admission. The image in my mind using the white head pins looked much better than it really ended up looking. They were too big, and were covering up the best part - the sparkly sequins!! So, I replaced all the pins with satin pins instead and love it SO much more. Learn from my mistakes and go with the short satin pins to begin with (for a 6" tree, I used a little over 450 pins, so be sure to buy more than you think you'll need)!!!

PS: The long satin pins work, too, but keep in mind they WILL poke through the other side of the foam cone along the top half and are a little more difficult to work with once you get to the other side of the tree...

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

Keep going with the pins & sequins until you get to the bottom (or top) of the tree. I put some sequins on at an angle at the bottom of the tree because there was a tiny bit of white foam peeking through and I like the way it kind of rounds the bottom out. Also add some sequins to the very top of the tree to finish it off.

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

This step is optional, but since the foam on the bottom of the tree is bare, the foam still sheds and it will be a little more difficult to add the base to your tree. So, I cut out a circle of coordinating felt and hot glued it to the bottom of the tree. Now the foam is protected, and you can add the base (also optional) much easier!!

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

For the base, I used a birch napkin ring and spray painted it silver. Candlesticks also look great as a base. Once painted and dried, add some hot glue around the top edge, then attach it to the bottom center of the tree.

DIY Sequin Tree Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com

Once the glue is dry, your tree is officially done! You can now put it on display or start making a bunch more in other colors and sizes!!

DIY Sequin Tree and Glitter Ribbon Tree Tutorials at artsyfartsymama.com

I paired my sequin tree with my Glitter Ribbon Trees (which are also made with Floracraft® Make It: Fun® Foam Cones) and am loving this sparkly holiday forest!! Both versions of trees are simple enough for almost anyone to make, and the supplies are inexpensive and easy to customize to your preferred holiday decorating color scheme.

For more foam craft ideas, visit the Make It: Fun site and follow FloraCraft on Pinterest and Facebook.


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