November 2014 archive

DIY Metallic & Felt Christmas Cone Trees

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I accidentally decorated my mantel for Christmas. It wasn’t intentional. Honest! I try to wait until after Thanksgiving before moving on to my Christmas decor, but once I started making these pretty metallic and felt paper Christmas cone trees, I couldn’t stop.

What I love about this project is anyone can do it, and the materials are easily accessible. Paper, glue, spray paint, and some felt and glitter if you so desire. In this case, the more the merrier is definitely true. One tree isn’t enough – you need a forest!

I also love that this could easily be modified as a kid’s craft. Before making the cone, have your child decorate it with whatever you have on hand – stickers, glitter, even a traced handprint would be adorable. After they have it all fixed up, you can make the cone. Done!

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For this craft, you need the following:

  • Sturdy craft paper (scrapbook paper would probably work, too)
  • Glue and tape
  • A makeshift compass consisting of needle, string, and chalk
  • Metallic spray paint in copper, silver, and/or gold (I found these at OSH)
  • Adhesive spray and glitter (optional, of course)
  • White and/or green felt (also optional – you could skip the felt entirely and just stick with the metallic and glitter cones)

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Step 1: Cut a large circle out of craft paper. The radius of your circle will equal the height of the tree. You can create a makeshift compass by threading a needle and putting it through the center of the craft paper. Tie chalk (or a pencil) to the edge, make the string taut, and draw your circle. Cut it out carefully.

Needle Thread and Chalk

(Question: Whenever I start a project, my cat comes a runnin’ to plop herself down on what I’m working on. Anyone else have this problem? My solution was to make Calla her own craft paper circle. That worked for about two minutes.)

Step 2: Cut your circle into thirds so you have three even pieces. If you want it perfect, you can follow this tutorial, or you can eye-ball it, then fold each third in half and make sure the arcs are lined up evenly.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 with two more circles of different radius lengths. You’ll then end up with 9 trees of three different heights.

Step 4: Take one of the pieces. The tip is the top of the cone. Start there and fold in at the point, creating the cone shape. Line up the base of the cone, then stick a piece of tape or two to secure. The paper will definitely overlap, and that’s okay! It will make the cone more secure. Do this with each piece.

Cone How-To

Step 5: Hot glue the edge of the cone, both inside and out. Trim up the base if it’s wobbly in any way. That’s it! Your cones are finished!

Step 6: To make metallic cones, simply spray paint the cone and let dry. Easy peasy!

Step 7: To make glitter cones, spray with adhesive (or spray paint) and dust with glitter.

Step 8: To make felt cones, cut a pile of felt into squares or rectangles, depending on what you want. If you’re using the squares, you’ll position them to look like diamonds with the points facing toward the top and base. The side edges will overlap so there are no gaps, and the tops will somewhat fit into the point created. If you’re using the rectangles, you’ll start by gluing one, then overlapping another right next to it so that the whole cone is covered. Either way, start from the bottom and work your way up to the top. Trim the squares or rectangles to be a bit smaller once you’re at the top layer or so. Once you’re all finished, go in and add extra glue to make the felt lay nicely.

Felt Tree How-To

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On my mantel, I added a few pieces to make the whole thing full and fun. To create the look, you need:

  • A string of battery-powered lights
  • Air plants
  • A few small glass vases or globes filled with sand (to look like snow!)
  • Preserved or artificial boxwood
  • Dried orange rounds (tutorial here)
  • Artificial snow

Position all of your Christmas cone trees, then fill in the gaps with vases. Toss artificial snow about, and throw on a few orange rounds. Run a string of lights through your display.

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This is a great afternoon project. Don’t forget to accompany it with your favorite Christmas music or movie!

If you make it, I’d love to see it! Leave a link to your post in the comments or share it with me on Instagram (@unfoldeddesigns)!

Celebrating Mom’s Birthday with Mickey

Disney 2014

Yep, we’re those people. Grown-ups who choose out of their own free will to go to Disneyland. Without children. And we loved every minute of it!

For my mom’s birthday, she threw her own grand birthday party and took her four daughters for a weekend away at Disneyland! My dad, husband, and brother-in-laws were invited too, but somehow it just worked out to be a girls’ trip…which meant in addition to Disneyland we managed to cram in some good shopping, too.

The saddest part of the whole trip was my sister Chelsea badly spraining (or something…) her foot the day before. She sucked it up, though, and plopped herself in a wheelchair so we could all still have our fun. And even though it wasn’t so easy meandering her chair throughout a crowded Disneyland, it was no problem at all to skip most of the waiting and hop to the front of the line! Our collective favorites were Soaring Over California, Tower of Terror, Screamin’ California, and Space Mountain. We also were so impressed with the Wonderful World of Color show. So much fun!

It wouldn’t be a Vander Kooi girls trip without lots of yummy food. We really found some of the best things to eat at Disneyland, starting our day off with cinnamon rolls and Starbucks, having a yummy burger/fries/onion rings lunch, snacking on funnel cakes topped with strawberries and brownie, and ending with Mexican food and clam chowder. Delicious!

It’s not often that you get to get away with your mom and sisters and have such a fantastic couple of days. I’m so grateful we could do this and celebrate our mom in the best way possible!

DIY: Succulent-Topped Pumpkin

If you’re a DIYer, you know that sometimes projects turn out, and sometimes they don’t. This succulent-topped pumpkin DIY not only turned out but may just be my favorite thing I’ve made all year. It combines pumpkins and succulents, after all — what is not to love?

I have quite a few succulents growing in my garden, so I was able to make this inexpensively. Even if you don’t have your own succulents, you can keep the cost down by using a smaller pumpkin. The one pictured above is only about five inches in diameter.

Succulent-Topped Pumpkin Materials

You Need:

  • Pumpkin – Try to find the fairy tale shaped pumpkins with the flatter top
  • Succulents – Try to choose some that have rosette tops, but also find some with interesting leaves (like jade) and some that can drape over the edge, if possible.
  • Sphagnum Moss – Purchase at any nursery or home/garden store, like Lowe’s
  • Spray Adhesive (Both pictured work)
  • Glue – I used Gorilla Glue because that’s what I had, but I’m thinking any quick-drying glue would work, maybe even hot glue

Succulent-Topped Pumpkin Steps

Step 1: Spray the top of your clean, dry pumpkin with the spray adhesive. Press a layer of sphagnum moss. Let it dry, shake off the excess, then spray the layer of moss and press a second layer down. Do this a few more times until you have a good inch or two of moss.

Step 2: Choose the largest rosette you have. Trim the stem and glue it in the middle.

Step 3: Choose medium-sized rosettes and add them in sets of two, gluing them at the short stem.

Step 4: Begin filling in with whatever other succulents you have. Use spare succulent leaves as filler. The key to this is to make it full!

Care for your succulent-topped beauties by misting them once a week on top. Try not to get the pumpkin wet.

These will keep throughout the fall season! If you keep them inside your home, be sure and give them some sunshine from time to time.

At the end of the season, when the pumpkin starts to say good-bye, carefully cut the top portion off. Chances are that your succulents began to make roots in the moss! You can plant the piece and continue to enjoy your arrangement throughout the year. Isn’t that fantastic?

Do you think you’ll be making a succulent-topped pumpkin to enjoy this fall season?