Christmas Card Wall Display
One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting Christmas cards in the mail from your friends and families. Each family has their own tradition of how they display their cards…sometimes on the refrigerator, on the mantel, or in a special container. Growing up we kept ours in a built in pocket in a multi-colored macramé Christmas Tree…straight from the 70’s. :) This year I decided to stick with my “gold” theme and create one using some brass tubing and brass ring.
What I also love about this DIY is that it can be used year round. Hang it up in your home and display cards, postcards, notes, drawings…the options are yours. :)
- Brass tubing (you’ll need 2 pieces at 15″ long, and 2 pieces at 18.5″ long)
- Mini tube cutter
- Ruler (or measuring tape)
- 18″ metal ring
- Krazy Glue No Run Gel
- Spool of black waxed cord (70 ft total)
- Brass curtain hooks
- Nail (to hang on the wall)
If you haven’t cut the brass tubing yet, use a mini tube cutter to cut your four pieces.
Arrange the cut tubes on the top of the brass ring evenly (from top to bottom.)
Add a little dot of glue on the ring, under each end of the tubes. Leaving an equal amount of overhang on each side. (NOTE: I tried a bunch of different glue types on this project before landing on the Krazy Glue No Run Gel. Make sure it’s a similar type of glue that is thicker. Regular Krazy Glue just runs off the sides of the ring. The glue doesn’t need to be super strong, just enough to hold it decently so when you tie the knots it just gives the rungs that extra stability.)
Cut 8 pieces of 8” long waxed cord.
These will be used to tied a transom knot to secure each end of the horizontal tubing to the ring. Follow the diagram from the link, to tie a knot on each end.
Bring the two ends around to the backside and tie a tight double knot.
Trim your loose ends to about 1/2″ long each.
Repeat the knot on each end until you have all the tubes tied on tight.
Leaving a 6″ tail, start at the bottom left rung by wrapping the waxed cord tight around the top 1/2″ tail. Continue wrapping tightly until you go ALL THE WAY around the ring and back to where you started.
This is when you put on a movie and just sit and watch…and wrap. It’ll take awhile.
Once you’ve wrapped the whole thing, tie off the cord in the back with a tight double knot.
Attach the curtain hooks to your cards (before hanging.)
Hang your display on the wall, and start to see the collection grow!
If you don’t have time to get crafty and make your own metal card display, here are a few examples of store bought ones that would be perfect card displays!
Embroidery Calendar Kit
For Christmas I received a Heather Lins Home Stitch the Stars Calendar Kit. It was the perfect DIY to complete while watching the Seahawks game during the holiday break. Once it was complete I knew I needed a way to hang them up to display their cuteness! The calendars come with a pre-punched hole, but you know me. That solution would work fine but I wanted to put it on a counter, not the wall. I do this all the time, and sometimes I come up with a brilliant alternative! After a bit of brainstorming, I dove into my craft-stash and found a few things to make this project complete.
Follow the easy instructions in the calendar kit. It’s super easy and a perfect afternoon craft. And if you want to add an extra special finishing touch, all you need is some Nate Berkus Brass Clips from Target, and a 5″ x 7″ vertical acrylic leaning frame.
Once you have all the components, just take your card and clip it to the acrylic frame and voila!
Next year I might just have to continue the tradition, and stitch up Heather’s Fruit of the Month Calendar Kit! :)
Modern brass advent calendar
An advent calendar is a way to countdown the days leading up to Christmas, and is a special tradition for many during the month of December. There are so many different kinds of advent calendars…paper ones, ones that include a chocolate treat, ones that hold little surprises for each day, or ones that are aimed at families. And all of these are great, but they don’t fit my current lifestyle. For example…I don’t need to eat chocolate everyday, nor do I need to buy myself little surprises for each day. Because that isn’t much of a surprise. :) Instead I created a calendar that worked with this single gals world! It includes daily activities that I like to do during the month of December. Activities like “send a friend a holiday greeting” or “write our your new years resolution.” Most importantly I know these will be easy to complete each day, while getting me in the Christmas spirit!
Craft Confessional: I had this idea for over a year and a half. It was PERFECT in my head, and I thought it would be SO easy. In the end, I admit it was a bit of a struggle. It wasn’t that the steps were difficult, it just ended up being a bit of a volatile craft. If you just moved it so…the whole thing fell apart. That’s no way to make a craft, so I went in search for some ways to make it more stable. I tried a bunch of different things, and searched home improvement stores for the components. I was roaming the aisles at Home Depot at 8:30PM on a Thursday night looking like a fish out of water. I think I got four different can-I-help-you’s. How do you explain to the Home Depot guy “well I’m making this craft. It’s an advent calendar. I need something to hold the rungs in place.” I can see his face now. I finally came up with a decent solution at 12:00AM the night of December 1st which makes this not very timely. Oops!
Make the cards:
To complete the advent activity cards you can do one of two options. If you’re like me, print and trim out the advent activity cards PDF. If you want to customize them yourself, you can purchase white business cards, and using the black felt-tip pen, write your own activities! Note: I included 40 different cards to choose from. Go through and pick out ones that work for you!
Once the activity cards are done, take your mini envelopes and flip them over (so the flap is facing away from you).
Now number 25 envelopes with consecutive numbers along the top long edge of each envelope. Make sure the number is within 1/2″ from the top, and centered. Practice on one using a brass index clip as a guide.
Now here comes the fun part…place all your advent activity cards face down on the table. Mix them up! Now insert one card into an envelope.
Attach one brass index clip to each envelope so the number is within the square opening.
Cut the tubes:
Measure and cut your brass tubing. Each piece should each be 21″ long. Use the mini cutter to secure your tubing. Slowly tighten and turn the tubing a couple times. You’ll feel the cutter become more loose, which is when you turn the knob and tighten it a bit more. Then repeat the steps again. You’ll do this a few times and you’ll feel the tube break at some point. It’s not difficult, it just takes 1-2 minutes per tube. (watch this video)
You can purchase brass tubing and mini tube cutter at your local hardware store. I always get mine at the Ace Hardware by my house. Plus I like to roam the aisles looking at all the materials…you never know what could inspire you! :)
Cut and assemble ball chains:
Measure and cut out the following pieces of brass ball chain using your wire cutters. If you want to get REALLY specific, I counted the little balls to make sure they were the same lengths (22 balls).
- 8 pieces – 2 3/4″ long (these will attach the rungs together)
- 1 piece – 21″ long (this will be the hanger)
Attach a fan connector to each end of the 2 3/4″ ball chain pieces. As well as the end of the 21″ piece.
- Take long ball chain, and slide to the right edge of Rung #1.
- Take a short ball chain, and slide to the right edge of Rung #1.
- Take pliers and make a slight dent in tubing 3/4″ from the right end. This will create a little road-block so the chains don’t fall off the rung.
- Squeeze the two ball chain hangers together and with your pliers make another dent on the inside of them.
- Slip on envelopes 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.
- Take a short ball chain, and slide onto left of Rung #1.
- Take the other end of long ball chain, and slide onto left edge of Rung #1.
- Take pliers and make a slight dent in the tubing 3/4″ from the left end.
- Squeeze the two ball chain hangers together and with your pliers make another dent on the inside of them.
- Take Rung #2 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from the previous rung.
- Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6.)
- Take Rung #3 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from previous rung.
- Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 15, 14, 13, 12, and 11.)
- Take Rung #4 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from previous rung.
- Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 20, 19, 18, 17, and 16.)
- Take Rung #5 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from previous rung.
- Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 25, 24, 23, 22, and 21.)
Hang your advent calendar somewhere you will see it each day. After you’ve opened an envelope, flip the card over and clip it back onto the index clip so you can see all the activities you’ve done each day.
Brass Tassel Bracelet
At Craftcation I took a tassel-making class the first day of the conference. Since then I’ve been all about tassels and have been wanting to make something ever since. When I came across this awesome brass bracelet from Purl Soho I knew exactly what I was going to make with it. :) It’s super easy and will take you all about 5 minutes from start to finish!
- DMC pearl cotton thread
- Natural brass bracelet by Fog Linen
- 3/8″ natural brass jump ring
- 12-15mm natural brass cylindrical end cap
Untwirl the thread and cut off two pieces of thread. You’ll need one 6″ and one 12″ piece of thread. Keeping the thread bunched together like it came, fold it in half and cut a section 3″ long (it ends up being 6″ total.) If you are using a larger end cap, like the one I used, then cut another section the same size as the first. You basically want the folded end of the bunched up thread to fit inside your end cap snuggly, but not too tight.
Taking the 6″ piece of thread you cut off in Step 1, tie up the thread in the middle using a double knot.
Now take the 12″ piece of thread you cut off and loop one end through the jump ring. Thread each ends through the top of the end cap, and pull the threads so they are even. Note that I am using a 15mm end cap. You can use a smaller one, just make sure you gauge how much thread will or will not fit within the cap.
Take the tied up bunch and center it underneath your end cap. Tie another double knot tightly and watch how the folded end of your bunch sits right up into the end cap.
Now give your tassel a haircut and cut the ends off to make a nice even edge. Unhook your bracelet and loop the tassel onto one end.
I went simple and just made one tassel for the bracelet…but you could do multiples if you wanted to really spice things up. Buy one bracelet and make multiple colors of tassels to match all your outfits!