Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas Banner

My friend Patti and I saw the cutest vintage felt Christmas banner at an occasional sale.  We decided right then and there that we would make banners for our homes this Christmas!  Here’s what we needed to get started…

felt in 2 different colors (the stiff kind with a sticky back is nice, but the traditional felt will also work)
tacky and fabric glue
fine black sharpie
regular scissors and pinking shears
1” wide grosgrain ribbon (about 7 feet)

We started by making templates for the letters. We freehanded (with a little help from a ruler) the letters onto the cardstock, and cut them all out. If you don’t feel comfortable free handing, you could use stencils or print them in a font from your computer. Our letters were about 5" high, and 4" wide, but you could make them any size.  Remember, you only need to make one template for the multiple letters (M, R, and S).
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Next, you put the cardstock letters on one color of felt (we used white felt) and trace around them with the sharpie.  Some of the letters (E, R, C, and S) need to be flipped over before marking so that the ink marks are on the back side of the letter – the other letters can go either way. 

Now, cut the letters out with a pinking shears.  When you’re done, lay them all out to make sure you have all of your letters. 

Place these felt letters one at a time onto the other color of felt.  Take the Sharpie and mark around these letters with about a half inch border all around the letter. 

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Now cut these out with the pinking shears.

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Glue the letters together using fabric glue.  Make sure none of the Sharpie marks show on the front side.  At this point we realized that some of the letters were kind of floppy, and wouldn’t hang right.  We decided to “reinforce” each letter with some card stock on the back side.  In hindsight, I would have used that stiff type of felt to avoid this step.  You can even get the stiff type with a peal-off sticky back to use for your top letter so you wouldn’t have to glue them.

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Now it’s time to glitter!  I used some very old glitter that was multicolored, and Patti mixed gold and green together for her banner.  Just write on the felt letter with the tacky glue, and generously sprinkle in on.  Give it a little tap to get the excess glitter off.  Don’t worry about the glitter lines being perfect – this is what gives it that charming homemade look.

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The last step is to glue the letters to the ribbon.  Use fabric glue for this also.  Make sure you leave about 12” of ribbon on both sides of the letters for hanging.  Let it dry, and it’s ready to hang!

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With Love at Christmastime,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  Luke 2:14

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pretty Packages

I decided to do something a little different this year for my Christmas wrapping.  I started by using only red and white gift wrap.  What a surprising time-saver this was!   Cutting down on the choices made for a much simpler, less messy time of it.  It also cost less money, since I used a 40% off coupon for a roll of white drawing paper from Michaels (the kind that goes in a children’s easel).  

Instead of gift tags, I used black and white prints of the person who is receiving that gift. I used baby or older pictures of them, so they will have a little challenge when finding their gifts under the tree.  My grandkids were here last weekend, and they loved the photo tags!

I wanted to keep the wrapping plain so that I could focus more on the embellishments (the fun part).  I had many d├ęcor items already, but I did buy a few fun things at Michaels too.  

Here are some of my gift wrapping creations…

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This was hands down my favorite year for decorating gifts!  I plan on going to Michaels after Christmas when the holiday ribbon and other items go on sale for next to nothing – then I will be all set for next year!  Oh, and here’s another tip…in the isles of Michaels where they have the garland, picks, and artificial greenery, there are lots of pieces on the floor that have fallen off.  I picked them up, and asked the girl at the check-out if I could have them, and she said “sure” - make sure you ask first before just taking them.  Anyway, they worked great for this project!

I hope this inspires you to get creative with your gift wrapping!

Christmas Blessings,
Jane <><