When quarantine started back in March 2020, my mind was all over the place and I was seeking clarity and consistency. So in my moments of frustration, anger, sadness, hopelessness, and boredom, I focused my mind on something mundane. It actually helped me focus on my thoughts in a more constructive manner instead of ruminating on things.
This craft has focused my mind many times in the past few months, allowing me to have a brief moment to focus on something easy, when the world around us seems to be uncontrollable. And even though it’s easy to do, it just take a lot of time. Ironically, quarantine gives you that time.
Hard foam ball
A prep station (I used a bead board)
Reading glasses (I need them) :)
Take a straight pin and thread with a seed bead and sequin. Insert the pin into the ball. This will be the starting point from which you will place all subsequent sequins. Here are some more tips:
First off, it takes way more pins and sequins than you really think. I would suggest buying a few boxes to start. (For example: the smallest ball used about 450 pins)
I used a bead board (typically used for beading and jewelry making) but what is nice about it is the beads don’t go rolling everywhere.
I used smooth foam balls this time around (instead of the traditional styrofoam ones) and found it is easier and produces a better end result.
I actually spray painted the large black one with black spray paint before any of the sequin pins went on. This way I avoided any white peeking through when finished. (I lovingly call this one the Death Star.) You don’t really need to do this pre-paint with the lighter colors.
Thread multiple straight pins upfront before applying to the ball both to save time and to make it easier to set your pattern.
Start from one pin insertion, and use this as the center point to apply additional sequins around the first. This technique allows for concentric colored rings if you desire.
You can match colors of the pin/bead/sequin to make a more unified look, or you can change up the colors to make the look more unique. The choice is really up to you.
As you add new sequins, lightly overlap the previous sequin, staggering them so they fill the gaps that expose the foam ball.
Continue adding sequins in one color or various colors depending on what you want as an end result. Keep doing this until you’ve completely covered the ball.
I didn’t stop at one…but I kept going, and now I have a whole bowl full!
Once you have a collection, you can place them in a bowl or even attach ribbons to the balls to make hanging ornaments.
(Quote from “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: College Course”, www.independent.co.uk. November 17, 2010.)
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)
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!
The month of December I was able to slow down for once and relax. I was able to put my Christmas tree and decorations up early and enjoy them. I also had time to catch up on my DVR, as well as even watch some cheesy made-for-tv holiday specials. :) I also had time to revisit some of my old holiday DIY posts, and clean them up a little for my blog. I especially reflected on 25 Days of Crafts that I did back in 2013 with Cathie of tinsel + trim. It was so fun to go back through all our crafts…remembering all the late nights we spent working on them. :) We were so crazy trying to attempt that.
So whether you have the time off or not, I hope you all had some time to enjoy the festivities, and reflect on the season. Here is a sneak peak of my house all ready for the big day.
Merry Christmas to you and your families!
When the season gets away from you, the best way to still get in the holiday spirit is to find easy ways to make your existing decor festive. This year I decided to put a reindeer (one of a whole bag full) to good use, and make him a new tropical home (in my terrarium.) And why do I have a bag of plastic reindeers you ask? I honestly have no idea. :) Of course I couldn’t just shove him in the terrarium and call it a day…I had to spray paint him gold. He looks so much more festive this way.
Small to Medium sized terrarium rocks
Small terrarium rocks
Gold spray paint
Mini bristle brush tree
Place some medium-sized terrarium rocks at the bottom of your glass terrarium. This layer is to help the soil drain, and you can use whatever color of rocks you’d like. I used black colored rocks (because that is what I had on hand) but rocks in a different shade help give the terrarium interest.
Then add a little soil. Create a small well in the center and plant your plant, gently pack the soil around the base of the succulent.
Once you have the succulent planted, use a plastic spoon to insert the small terrarium rocks around the base of your plant.
Spray paint your plastic reindeer gold, and let it dry. Once it’s dry place it into your terrarium…along with any other fun objects you would like to add.
Such an easy way to make everyday decor festive!
Modern Christmas Decor
I have historically been a little schizophrenic when it comes to my Christmas decoration themes. Here are some of the themes I’ve had in the last 20 years.
Shabby Chic Country – Think patchwork, torn fabric, and wooden bead garland.
Rustic Wrought Iron – Most of my ornaments were metal. I did however LOVE my tree topper that was wrought iron multi-spoke stars.
Red, Green, and White – This one is obvious.
Traditional – Tipping off the previous theme, but think Christopher Radko style ornaments in the previous color scheme.
My latest theme? Modern black, white, gray, and gold. We’ll see how long this one sticks. :)
So in honor of my inability to stick to one Christmas theme, here is a round-up of my favorite modern Christmas decorations this year.