Day 8/9: DIY Christmas Decor: Noel Sign

Standard

Honestly these Supermom bloggers that somehow find the time to cook amazing meals, keep the house completely impeccable, give their kids sensory and educational play time, make adorably crafty knickknacks, maintain a good relationship with their husbands AND blog about it all are full of it. I’m convinced there is no way anyone can keep this up unless they’re robots or on some good drugs.
I managed to do some crafty crap last night – just ran out of time to blog about it. I like to think I’m normal and not just a complete slacker because I chose to spend the last 2 hours of my night engorging myself on Peanut M&M’s and watching a hockey game with the hubby.

Anyways, I have a TON of Christmas crafts pinned. I really love this time of year and it seems like if you’re going to try to find your crafty side there’s no better time than now. I always go to craft sales and think “Why would I spend money on that when I could just make it”. I find people overvalue their “crafts”. They’re really just cashing in on our laziness. Usually these crafts don’t cost that much to make (unless you shop at Michael’s) and how hard can it really be (depending on what it is of course)…

I’ve seen a few of these types of signs at craft sales priced around $25 and apparently Pottery Barn had something similar one year (I can only imagine how overpriced that one was).
So I decided to try and recreate it with the help of this pin.

I trucked my toddler to Michael’s and two different Dollar Stores to find some craft supplies. I was buying for a couple of other crafty pins I have in mind and I didn’t want to buy stuff from Michael’s that I knew I could get for a buck or two (the mark up on their stuff is ridiculous!).
That errand run in itself was a chore, my kid is teething and bringing him anywhere right now is like going out with Jekyll and Hyde, you never know who you’re going to get. Plus he just wants to touch and grab everything. It’s exhausting.
Once I got home and tranquillized him put him to bed. I got to work.

Noel Sign Necessities:

Letters (I’m sure you can use wood, cardboard, MDF or anything else paintable. I found wood ones at the Dollar Store for a buck each. Obviously you need an N, an O, an E, and an L)
Acrylic Paint (Brown and Red) (You could use any colour or type you want but I would strongly recommend the acrylic. I messed that up because I thought I had some at home, however all I had was my son’s Tempra paint. Which looks like crap when it dries)
Glitter (This wasn’t called for in the original link but I think everything Christmasy looks better with some glitter tossed on it somewhere)
Paint Brushes

Instructions:

1. Paint the Letters first with the brown and while they are still tacky go over them with the red. (I didn’t do brown and red because at first I didn’t really care for the “faux wood” look or whatever. I chose red and then mixed in a bit of black to make it a darker shade)

2. Blend, add some more paint, smudge with a paper towel. Just mess around with it and let dry once complete.
(I didn’t do any of this, I just had one matte colour. Instead of following this step I added my bling to the O. I painted it, waited till it got tacky then sprinkled glitter all over it.)

3. Once your letters are completely dry, arrange them as you’d like and glue them together.
(I used awesome gold glitter hot glue that I found at the dollar store – because I’m super crafty like that – but it doesn’t matter because you can’t see it anyways)

4. Once your glue is set, put up a couple nails and you’re good to go.

Here is the original link’s beautiful version (which I now wish I had followed step by step):

Image

And here’s how mine turned out:

Image

It looks even worse because I didn’t use the right paint. I’m debating about picking up some acrylic and going over the letters again. I really don’t like the matte finish.
My letters are smaller because I got them at the dollar store, so it looks a little insignificant in the spot I currently have it:

Image

Overall I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I know I couldn’t get $25 for it. (I take back what I said earlier, clearly this stuff takes a talent that I do not possess.)

Despite my lack of crafty skills, this week will be the week of Christmas crafts. I’ve decided.

Day 2: Salt Dough Ornament

Standard

Since I did a recipe yesterday I thought I would switch domestic gears and attempt to find my crafty side. It is in here somewhere…
Again, I didn’t want to jump the gun and overestimate my abilities, so I decided to try the salt dough Santa’s that are plastered all over Pinterest this time of year. I also had about 4 different Facebook friends post their versions today, so I thought I’d follow suit.
How hard could it be?

I found one of the thousands of pins for this idea (here is the one I used) and thankfully I checked it out early in the morning because these things take like 3+ hours to bake.

Salt Dough Ingredients:

1/2 cup of salt
1/2 cup flour (I didn’t have white so I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup of water

That’s it! This is what I loved about this Pin. The less ingredients the better.

Baking Instructions:

(Before you begin, please make sure your kids are exactly where you want them. I had to wrestle mine into his highchair with dough covered hands because he wouldn’t stop touching the preheating oven)

1. Knead ingredients together till a dough forms

2. Roll the dough out into a handprint sized patty
(I don’t have a rolling pin – SHOCKER – so I just smushed it down until it was a decent size, I had to do this a couple times due to step 3)

3. Press your kids hand in the dough
(All my little dude wanted to do was grab and squish it. He wouldn’t let me get his handprint in it.  Eventually, after about 10 minutes, I managed to get a decent one.

4. With something sharp, cut around the imprint and leave a small border.
(I just used a steak knife for this you can make other little ornaments with the extra or just toss it out)

5. Make a small hole in the bottom so it can be hung
(I completely forgot this step. Blonde moment. I may try drilling a hole into it, but that seems like a lot of effort. So for now it’ll just lean up on the mantle)

6. Put it on a cookie sheet and bake for 3 hours at 200 F (or 90 C)
(I had it in for longer than 3 hours. Probably closer to 4. I thought I was being smart by spraying the cookie sheet with Pam even though the recipe didn’t call for it, all it did was make the bottom not cook properly and take longer. So don’t do that)

Painting Necessities:

White Paint
Red Paint
Black Marker
Brushes

Painting Instructions:

1. Once it’s cooled, paint the whole ornament white. Let dry

2. Paint the santa hat part red. Let Dry

3. Mix up some light pink paint and paint the face. Let Dry
(I added the “Let dry” because I was really impatient and my colours kind of bled together)

4. AFTER ALL THE PAINT IS DRY. Use the black marker fill in the features of the face, beard and hat.
(Again my impatience got the best of me and my outlining didn’t turn out as nice as it could have if I had waited.)

Anyways that’s it! Done and it only took me all day.

Here’s the original blog’s pic:
Image

And here’s my awesome version:

Image

This one didn’t give me too much trouble and it is cute in an ugly kind of way. To me anyways!

Day 2 down!

*****However, I would like to add a serious notation here to let everyone know that salt dough is extremely toxic to animals. The amount of salt in this recipe is enough to cause serious harm and could be fatal to an animal depending on the size of the animal and the amount ingested.*****

Want to know how I know this? Because I have a Hoover for a dog. Our female dog eats ANYTHING that lands on the floor around the high chair. Normally this is a good thing, we call the dogs our “Canine Cleanup Crew”. It saves me from having to get out the vacuum or the mop after mealtimes.
Well, I thought I’d be a good mom and give my son a “sensory experience” by giving him the trimmings to play with. The thought crossed my mind that – worst case scenario – he may end up eating a bit of it, but technically its edible and I’m sure he wouldn’t like the taste anyways. I kind of overlooked the fact that my child loves to throw things across the room once he’s done with them. (Including – but not limited to – food, sippy cups, toys, keys, cell phones, iPads and apparently salt dough)
Not a second after it was launched, she found it and scarfed it down. After about 3 mins she ran into the living room and proceeded to throw it all up on our dining room area rug. I then googled it and sure enough, this isn’t something you want your dog eating.

She’s fine though! Eating, drinking and acting like normal and the vet says she’ll be good.

It was a pretty fun day.

Image