Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments 2015

Every year, I create personalized ornaments for our family and friends. Usually, I keep it simple with some store-bought ornaments that I personalize with markets or fabric paint. Tip: the felt ornaments are great for mailing!

This year, I wanted to make globe ornaments that would fit with our retro mid-century theme and colors of red, pink, and turquoise.

Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
To make these ornaments, I used

The process is very simple:

  • I started by printing labels with the kids’ names and the year on them. I was able to fit two names on each label and then cut the labels into 2″x 2″ squares.
  • I then cut out and stuck each label onto scrapbook paper and punched out a circle around it. I punched a second blank circle in matching paper and glued them two pieces together.
  • These circles fit perfectly into the ornaments!
  • Add a ribbon for hanging and you’re done!

Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home  Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Personalized Globe Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home Since these ornaments would have been hard to mail, I also made some similar ones that are flat, for our friends who live out-of-town.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
“Jewels”

Vintage Photo Garland

As you know, this year’s Christmas has a vintage theme, and I thought it would be great fun to share some old Christmas pictures with this simple and pretty photo garland.

To start, I collected old pictures, including some of from my childhood and from my parents before I was born! Once I got into the project, I added some more recent pictures of our kids. I edited all of the pictures using an iPhone app called Instants, which makes them look like vintage Polaroids.

I used ric rac ribbon from my mom’s stash to make the garland, so this is authentic vintage! I hung the photos from the ric rac using clothes pins decorated with scrapbook paper in this year’s colors of pink, turquoise, and red.

This was an easy project, and it’s simple enough that I’m going to leave it up, even though I won’t be decorating the rest of the house until after Thanksgiving.
  
  
  

Retro Mid-Century Ornament Wreath

So, if you have been following along, you will know that I have a colorful Mid-Century Christmas planned for this year. So far, my preparations have included a new Christmas tree skirt, and next up was this pretty ornament wreath!

I found a lot of beautiful inspirations for this type of wreath, including some beautiful and whimsical examples from Georgia Peachez.

There are a lot of different methods out there for making ornament wreaths, and I read through several examples before starting my own.

I used a piece of foam leftover from another project as my wreath base. It was flexible, but once the ornaments were glued in place, it held its shape. I used a piece of heavy beading wire to create a hanger on the back, before I started attaching the ornaments.

To attach the ornaments, I hot-glued a ring of the large balls in this year’s colors of pink, turquoise, and red around the entire outside and inside of the wreath base. I then added a few large ornaments to the top and filled in with medium and smaller ornaments. I included a few pine cone ornaments to change up the look. Also, I kept the hangers visible on a handful of the ornaments for more visual interest.

Some methods include tinsel on the base or painting the base. Since I didn’t do either, I needed to make sure I filled all the gaps, so I finished off the wreath with some vase filler and large beads. This is definitely one of those projects, like L’s birthday quilt, where it takes a long time and a lot of planning to make it look “random.” By the time I went to bed, I was seeing ornaments float before my eyes…

But it was all worth it! I am not decorating quite yet, so for now, the wreath is adding some cheer to my craft room window, and as Nicola said when she came over for our recent Creativity Circle, it looks pretty good there!

Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home
Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home  Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home
Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home  Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home
Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at HomeWith the new tree skirt and this wreath, I think I am well on my way to creating this year’s theme, but I do still have a few projects I’d like to add, if time allows! Looking forward to seeing it all come together!

“Jewels”

Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt

I know it is only November, but I am already getting excited about the upcoming Christmas season. The last few years, I’ve changed up our decorations to have a different theme each season. This year, I decided to go with a retro mid-century Christmas theme. You may remember that I am a big fan of the TV series Mad Men, and I really wanted to have a party to mark the series finale this spring, but life is way too busy, so I decided to have some Mid-Century fun for Christmas. One of my inspirations was this Christmas tree skirt that I saw advertised on mod cloth last year.
It’s sold out now, and it was also smaller than I wanted, so of course I decided to make my own. If you are feeling inspired, here’s how I did it.

You’ll need:

Instructions:

  • I sewed the skirt with the same 60″ diameter as our grey and white tree skirt
  • I then cut out and appliqued the ornaments the way I made appliqued onesies. For the print fabrics, I just did a simple silhouette. For the more solid fabrics, I cut out some shapes, taking inspiration from the Mod Cloth original
  • I sewed the ornaments and ribbons in place, and ta-da!

Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home
Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home  Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home

I’m waiting a few more weeks to set up our decorations, and I am so excited to see this pretty skirt under our tree!

Update: Here are some pictures of the skirt under our tree!

Retro Christmas Ornament Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home


Retro Christmas Ornament Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home
“Jewels”

I’m Dreaming of a Retro Christmas

I love Christmas! and I love Mad Men! The last few years, I have changed up our Christmas decor each year.

This year, I’m really loving the look of a colorful Mid-century Christmas. I’m gathering inspiration and have a few projects to show you soon. Here are some of my favorite ideas.

I love everything about Danielle Thompson’s Candy Colored Christmas. This pom-pom wreath is adorable, and the simple white background keeps the colorful theme from being over-the-top.

danielle Thompson xmas

Danielle Thompson

This little bottle brush forest seen at Apartment Therapy is so charming. I made Christmas trees with felt and yarn a few years ago, so I am am looking forward to adding to my collection!

bottle brush trees

And how about this beautiful Christmas tree skirt that was sold on Mod Cloth? It’s out of stock now, but I’m looking forward to making my own!

IMG_8029

One more project I have in the works is an ornament wreath inspired by the fantastic ones by Georgia Peachez.

georgiapeachezwreath

I’m looking forward to bringing all these fun retro Christmas ideas into reality in our house this year!

“Jewels”

Cardinals in Winter – a Red and White Christmas

How are you spending this Christmas Day? After a super-hectic December, the Bay Area has given us a clear and cool day to enjoy. We’ve opened presents and took the whole family to the park. Now, it’s time for some rest. The last few years, I’ve been inspired to try new color schemes for holiday decorating. First, there was the silver Christmas, and last year’s was all in white. This year, I was inspired by the brilliant red of cardinals on a snowy backdrop, and I added back dashes of red. The result is serene and festive at the same time.

After making new decorations for our silver-themed Christmas and white Christmas, this year was easy – all I had to do was re-use those decorations and add back a bit of red! Here’s how some of our decorations came together:

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

 

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home

 

I love looking around at our red and white decorations. A bright and crisp day outside is making for a perfect Christmas!

“Jewels”

Gifts Made by the Boys

The fact that I’m writing this when it is already Christmas morning in most parts of the world tells you what kind of crazy-busy December we had this year. I’m definitely looking forward to a few days of downtime with the family.

We don’t do a lot of shopping for Christmas. The adults in my family have generally agreed to not exchange gifts, and our kids get so much from their grandparents and aunts and uncles, that at most, we pick up one or two little things for them. However, on the night of December 23, I realized that I really wanted to have something to give to my dad and brother-in-law who are both celebrating Christmas with us this year. There was absolutely no way I was going to go near a mall on Christmas eve, so I wracked my brain and scoured my craft supplies to come up with a few meaningful projects that we could make at home.

We reprised the mugs that we made for Steve’s birthday and Father’s Day last year, and the boys also made these fun picture collages. We enjoyed going through old pictures to find our favorites, and I also added some extra copies of Christmas cards from the last few years. The boys did all the cutting and gluing themselves, as evidenced by the fact that there are duplicates right next to each other and other quirky touches. I think that our family is going to love these!

Gifts made by the kids: Hand-painted mugs | Jewels at Home

Gifts made by the kids: Family photo collages | Jewels at Home

Gifts made by the kids: Family photo collages using old Christmas cards | Jewels at Home

And for me, being able to stay in on December 24 was the best present of all.

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home
Merry Christmas!
“Jewels”

White Chocolate Cranberry Cake – A Modern Fruitcake

When I got married, my mom gave me a little notebook with favorite baking recipes from our home.  Last year, I shared our childhood banana bread recipe from this book.

Another favorite is this recipe for a cranberry white chocolate cake.  It has the perfect blend of moistness with sweet and tart flavors, and it’s always a hit at the holidays.  It originally came from a Baker’s chocolate ad in an magazine, though we’ve tweaked it a bit over the years.

Ingredients:

  • 7/8 c butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange rind
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 6 oz white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease and flour a 9″ tube or  bundt pan
  • Beat butter and sugars with electric mixer
  • Beat in eggs, orange juice, and rind
  • Beat in flour and baking powder
  • Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips
  • Bake 1 hour
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

A book of family recipes makes a gift that will become a family treasure | Jewels at Home

I make this cake every year for our holiday party, and it has become a popular tradition!

Modern fruitcake recipe: Cranberry white chocolate cake | Jewels at Home

Modern fruitcake recipe: Cranberry white chocolate cake | Jewels at Home

What are some of your childhood holiday favorites?

“Jewels”

Faux Birch Branches

They say, there’s a fine line between genius and insanity… I think I got a deeper understanding of this when I took on this faux birch branch project.

I saw these a year or two ago in a department store, and I’m not sure what possessed me, but I decided to make them for our house. It’s the kind of fantastic paper creation you might see at Anthropologie, which always has the best art in their store displays… It makes me want to buy a cute sweater… Now! But I digress.

I’m working on creating outdoorsy and white-themed Christmas decorations this year, like these felt poinsettia ornaments and homemade clay ornaments.  I had several large cardboard tubes left over from buying fabric, and I got inspired to transform them into a little homemade forest.  I have to say that I was super-excited when I started, and by the end, I was going blind from visions of decoupaged tissue paper, but I think it was worth it in the end.

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

Materials:

  • Cardboard tubes.  The “trunks” are made from large tubes for rolling fabric.  The “branches” are smaller tubes, including toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
  • Brown paper
  • White tissue paper
  • Mod Podge or glue for decoupage
  • Embroidery floss in black and gray
  • Patience

To get started, created the shapes of the trees.  I used brown paper and Mod Podge to join some long tubes together, so that the lengths would vary.  I also used the same technique to add branches to some of the trunks (pictured below).

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

Next, I started creating the look of birch bark, inspired by instructions on making fake birch bark over at Kitsch Designs.  The first step is to cut the tissue paper into strips – I made a variety ranging from about two to four inches wide.  Then, paint some Mod Podge on the cardboard and wrap strips of tissue paper around the tube (pictured below).  I overlapped the paper in places and left gaps in other places, to give a textured look to the branches.

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at HomeIt looks cool when you tear the wet paper and get a rough edge like this!

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

 

Keep adding layers of paper, overlapping them, so the “bark” is textured and natural-looking (right two pictures below).  I estimate I used a total of about 4 layers.  On the top one or two layers, add some short strips of embroidery floss (left picture below).  I cut this into different lengths and also separated some into strands, so there was a lot of variety.  The floss stuck well to the paper using the Mod Podge.

 

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

 

I “planted” the finished birch branches in a pot wrapped in fabric in our font hall.  I think it would look great with the addition of some greenery and/or ornaments, so I’ll fiddle with that a bit more, but so far, I’m excited with these wintery additions to our foyer.

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

After the hours that went into this project, I’ll be keeping these faux birch branches around.  I haven’t decided if I’ll keep them long for next Christmas or maybe cut them short to display in the fireplace.  Let me know what you think!

“Jewels”